If only a magnifying glass was all the infrastructure a background check required.No state agency wants to be on the business end of an embarrassing report by the State Auditor’s office. That’s the conventional thinking. Leave it to the Children’s Administration to illustrate that conventional thinking and state bureaucracy don’t always play well together. In a just released report (pdf), the auditor’s office cites the Children’s Administration, the branch of Department of Health and Social Services that oversees the state foster care system, for failing to conduct background checks on foster care providers. State law requires the Administration to bi-annually vet everyone contracted to provide care to foster children.This includes the people who provide ancillary services like transportation.Auditors sampled 200 providers to see if background checks had actually been conducted. 174 of those cases checked out fine. But of the remaining 26 providers,19 had never been vetted. And the results are even less heartening if you consider the agency’s history of tragic missteps, and that the auditor’s office has now cited it not once, not twice, but three times for the same issue. According to this most recent auditor’s report, failing to comply with the background check law has been an issue for the Children’s Administration since at least 2003.Auditors found that five of the cases sampled had been flagged by Children’s Administration staff for investigation into allegations off abuse. According to the report, the required follow up investigation was never conducted.During the audit period of July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009, the Children’s Administration paid out $69,000 to people whose background checks weren’t current. In the response section of the the auditor’s report, the Children’s Administration writes that those payments had not gone to anyone who actually had a foster child their care.