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2 min read

Help Protect Your Business with a Government Watch List Search

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A government watch list search can help you identify candidates that may be barred from doing business with or in the United States. Specifically, this type of screening could be used to protect companies from doing business with certain sanctioned or barred candidates. It could also help companies avoid potential legal issues.

This background check search could help mitigate certain risks for your business. Let’s take a deeper look at Verified Credentials' government watch list search.

What Is a Government Watch List Search Anyway?

A government watch list search reviews several government-maintained lists. It can help in identifying sanctioned individuals, groups and entities barred from doing business in the U.S.

For example, some government-maintained lists can also include terrorists, narcotics traffickers and other "Specially Designated Nationals" (SDN). In other words, people or entities that might not be allowed to do business in the U.S. Their assets are typically blocked and U.S. citizens generally aren't allowed to deal with them, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Information sources for a government watch list search can include:

  • US Department of Treasury: Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List – Sanctioned individuals and other entities barred from doing business in the U.S according to the OFAC.
  • US Department of Commerce: Bureau of Industry and Security Denied Persons List, Unverified List, and Entity List A list organized to help companies identify potentially illegal transactions.
  • US Department of State: Directorate of Defense Trade Controls Debarred Parties List Individuals, businesses or other organizations subject to various restrictions under a range of trade laws according to the State Department and U.S. Bureau of Industry & Security.

What Kinds of Companies Use This Search?

Any industry can use this type of background check. It can be a beneficial resource when hiring professionals want more information about job candidates. In fact, according to our internal research, 10% of companies across all industries use a government watch list search. It’s particularly popular in the technology industry. 30% of all global watch list searches are done by technology companies. That’s increased from only a few years ago.

Government watch list searches could be ideal for:

  • Financial services roles
  • Jobs with access to proprietary technology
  • Government contractors or employees
  • Security officers and manufacturers
  • Roles involving sensitive materials or information
  • Technology and information management
  • Airport security and staff
  • Staff in multi-national corporations

What’s the Benefit of Using A Government Watch List Search?

A look at the government watch list can help apply an added level of security when hiring. Sure, companies always want to know who they’re bringing on board. But an added level of security in your background checks could be even more important to your organization when a candidate has access to confidential or sensitive information.

Doing business with a sanctioned entity or person on a watch list could create a potential legal situation. It could impact your company finances, reputation and even your ability to do business in the U.S. Using a government watch list search could help you limit that risk.

A government watch list search is yet another tool in the HR professional’s toolkit. It can help mitigate risk and make sure your company is hiring the right people for the right roles. If you operate in a high-security industry or routinely hire people to positions involving sensitive data, adding this screening to your background check activities could help improve security and potentially reduce risk for your business.

Not seeing a specific watch list? Verified Credentials offers two sources for government watch lists. If a domestic or international source you need is not listed here, it may be part of our more expansive global government watch list. You may find our government watch list comparison helpful to review these options. Additionally, Verified Credentials performs healthcare sanctions background checks against government and regulatory databases.

Want to start screening for sanctioned individuals or entities? Contact Verified Credentials to add a government watch list search with your other background checks.

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