The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released an I-9 inspection report of its Savannah River Operations Office in South Carolina, which found that several subcontractors were not verifying employment eligibility in accordance with federal law. The DOE conducted the inspection to determine if site subcontractors (which total over 800) were properly verifying the employment status of their employees, many of whom access the site, which is co-located with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). During the investigation, the DOE reviewed 600 Form I-9s from 21 subcontractors and conducted a judgmental sample of individuals who accessed the site during a six month period. In particular they found that:
- Four contractors failed to use the Form I-9 at all. When interviewed, the subs stated they were unaware of the I-9 requirement.
- Twenty-two percent (136) of the 600 I-9 Forms obtained from the sample of 21 site subcontractors were missing key elements, including Section 1 and Section 2 signatures as well as Section 2 documents. When questioned regarding the incomplete documentation, several of the subcontractors explained that they lacked proper oversight procedures to prevent mistakes.
- Three subcontractors utilized E-Verify, while several others used “other internet-based databases” to spot discrepancies. One of the subcontractors using E-Verify noted that they only give employees 3 days to correct discrepancies.
As a result of the investigation, the DOE notified the NNSA and the Savannah River Operations Office and issued the following recommendations:
- Ensure contractors establish a method to notify existing and future subcontractors to comply with federal requirements related to employment verification; and
- Develop a process to notify contractors of the E-verify system.
According to the report (available in its entirety here), the site management concurred with all of the recommendations.