Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $2,481,605)
The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110-180 ("NICS Improvement Act"), was signed into law by the President on January 8, 2008. The NICS Improvement Act amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 ("the Brady Act") (Pub. L. 103-159), under which the Attorney General established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Brady Act requires Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to contact the NICS before transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person for information on whether the proposed transferee is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under state or federal law. The NICS Improvement Act authorizes grants to be made in a manner consistent with the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP).
Under the 2016 NARIP priority areas, the NYS, Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), will administer two projects: Court Administration and State Repository Criminal History Record Improvement project and Improving Data Quality and Reporting Compliance for Mental Health Record Submission to NICS.
Court Administration and State Repository Record Improvement: DCJS and the Office of Court Administration will use NCHIP funding to expand the Exception Tracking System (ETS) to handle Fatal Errors, which are dispositions received by the court systems that are rejected, but never get applied to criminal histories. Currently, the ETS system only handles exceptions that occur when updates are applied to criminal history records and these updates require some type of review by the DCJS Office of Criminal Justice Operations (OCJO). Fatal errors are sent back to OCA for subsequent analysis and remediation. This project will enhance ETS so that both OCJO and OCA will be able to review and track fatal errors in an automated manner. The enhancement will also create a closed loop throughout the process so it is possible to view the outstanding and in progress fatal errors on the ETS. The DCJS will use NCHIP funds to automate the reporting of certificates of relief and good conduct by developing a system enhancement between DCJS and the courts to bypass the paper form and mailing process and enable the agencies to update the records immediately with less possibility of errors. OCA will also use NCHIP funding to update software enhancements to improve automated reporting and error reconciliation of dispositions from the Justice Courts to OCA. This includes building an automated dashboard and prompting mechanism to alert all Justice Courts of dispositions to be reported during every reporting stage and errors in need of correction. The work includes the analysis, development, distribution, and installation of the software enhancements.
Improving Data Quality and Reporting for Mental Health Record Submission to NICS: DCJS will administer NCHIP funds through the Department of Health (DOH) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to focus on the analysis of data errors related to patient identification numbers (ARI) and merges that have been done to historical records that were sent to the NICS Index. Analysis and reconciliation files will be generated and remediation steps will be taken to clean up historical records. Two types of errors that will be focused on are errors in manual data entry of patient records and errors in which duplicate ARI numbers have been reported. A data analyst position will be hired to work with the facilities to clean up the errors in addition to determine how the errors were made in order to reduce the possibility of these types of errors going forward. In addition to improving the data quality and reporting of mental health information, DOH will move an additional 5 hospitals to automated reporting to the NICS Index. Currently, the 5 identified hospitals are reporting information to the NICS manually.