The Oregon Judicial Case Information Network (OJCIN) is considering raising the fees collected on bulk and transactional criminal record data. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Thomas Balmer, is authorized to establish reasonable fees for use of the OJCIN, but what has been proposed is well beyond reasonable, and is potentially unsafe. Many small businesses and volunteer organizations are especially cost-sensitive when conducting criminal background checks and it is possible that the proposal to raise bulk fees by 360% and transactional fees by 600% would make it difficult, if not impossible, for many organizations to conduct criminal background checks. The same concerns apply to business and government users of public records to reduce fraud and to help authenticate consumers and transactions. CDIA filed a comment with OJCIN in the hope that the Network will rethink the unreasonable and prohibitive fees.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More