For Immediate Release
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau
NIGC to Reduce Fingerprint Fees
Washington, DC September 30, 2009 — National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chairman Phil Hogen has announced a reduction in the fees charged to process fingerprint cards. Starting October 1, 2009, the fee for processing fingerprints will be reduced from $35 to $24 per submission. This fee includes both the FBI’s processing fee of $17 and $7 to cover NIGC’s processing costs. The NIGC anticipates that the reduction in the fingerprint card processing fee will help to reduce the overall costs to tribal gaming commissions throughout Indian country.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) requires tribes to perform background investigations for each primary management official and key employee of a gaming operation, including a review of their criminal history. Obtaining the confidential information serves to shield the Indian gaming operations from criminal elements and uphold the integrity of the industry. Because tribes are not authorized to submit fingerprint cards directly to the FBI to obtain criminal history information records, the NIGC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FBI which allows the NIGC to submit the fingerprint cards for the tribes. Initially, NIGC sent hard copies of fingerprint cards to the FBI, which was a time consuming and labor intensive process. In recent years the NIGC and most tribal gaming commissions purchased and are utilizing electronic submission equipment which streamlines the process, thus reducing NIGC costs. NIGC is passing these cost savings onto the tribes.
“It is vital that gaming tribes know that those they license and employ to conduct their gaming activities don’t have questionable pasts, which would constitute a threat to the tribes’ revenues, assets, reputations and business good will, and a prompt, accurate report on applicants’ criminal history and record, if any, is achieved through fingerprint searches,” NIGC Chairman Phil Hogen stated. “This savings has been made possible by an increased and improved use of technology, and improved accounting processes at the NIGC,” he continued.
NIGC foresees issuing regulations regarding fingerprint fees and requiring a periodic review of the costs involved. Please send any comments or questions on this issue to Melissa Schlichting, Staff Attorney, at the NIGC, 1441 L Street, NW, Suite 9100, Washington, D.C. 20005 or by fax to (202) 632-7066 by Monday, October 26, 2009.
The NIGC is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.