Provider of Background Checks Sold

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The leading company in conducting background checks on employees and volunteers for nonprofits was sold last month for $4 billion.

Youth-serving organizations hope that the sale of ChoicePoint to Reed Elsevier Group, based in the United Kingdom, will not affect the services they get or the prices they pay.

ChoicePoint, based in Alpharetta, Ga., provides background checks and other services to nonprofits at a discount or for free. Its clients have included Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), Girls Scout councils, Little League International and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

ChoicePoint reported in February that from 2002 to 2007, it completed more than 3.7 million background checks for nonprofits.

Reed Elsevier’s website says there will be no changes “for now” in ChoicePoint products and prices.

NCMEC President Ernie Allen said that when the merger was announced, representatives from both companies called to assure him that “it would not have any adverse impact on us.” BSA spokesman Deron Smith said the organization has not been told of any pending changes in its agreement with ChoicePoint.

In May, the National CASA Association said it pays ChoicePoint a discounted rate of $18 per volunteer for comprehensive background screening.

ChoicePoint’s other services include providing birth certificates for Little League International, which requires the documents to verify players’ ages. NCMEC uses the company’s ADAM system (Automated Delivery of Alerts on Missing Children) to electronically distribute missing child posters to law enforcement, media, schools and businesses, and its public records services to help find missing children. Allen said both services are provided for free.

Reed Elsevier is a worldwide publisher and information provider in the scientific, medical, legal, risk and business-to-business sectors. It has 32,000 employees.

Contact: ChoicePoint (877) 547-2518,; LexisNexis