Greetings to the Kingdom Seneschals of the SCA, Inc. located in Canada and the United States,
This email pertains to only those Kingdoms within Canada and the United States; if you are the Seneschal of Lochac or Drachnwald, this email does not pertain to your Kingdom so feel free to hit delete.
Each Kingdom Seneschal and Youth Officer (including Youth Combat Marshals) must have a current background check as required by the Seneschals Handbook.  Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the Kingdom Seneschal to maintain a list of officers that have received background checks.  In view of certain irregularities that have come to light in at least one Kingdom, I want to impress upon each one of you that this requirement for background checks must be met.  (See below for the language in the current Seneschals Handbook passed by the Board of Directors in December of 2014 on pages 24-25, specifically Article XI, Sections A, B and C.)
Considering the SCA, Inc.’s potential liability in terms of law suits (particularly civil suits involving SCA agents and officers), the SCA must maintain a standard of due care to protect us all from liability.  I was a Kingdom Seneschal during the lawsuit’s settlement and I recall signing a check for over two thirds of my Kingdom’s treasury; trust me, it was not a good feeling, but it was necessary to end the lawsuit and assure ourselves that the SCA’s Kingdoms would continue to survive.  It is my dear hope that the SCA survives me and that our great-grandchildren can enjoy the SCA well into this 21st Century.
As such, if you do not have your background checks in, please send them into Renee.  The company that we utilize handles world-wide background checks and as such, the process is the same for everyone (with the exception of “affiliates”).  Please know that your personal information is guarded well and that at the end of the background check process, your personal information is confidentially destroyed (i.e. it is not maintained in the SCA’s Office except for the initial processing of the information and if there is a delay, the information is locked away in an office that is protected 24 hours a day my a professional security company).
I myself have been background checked twice (as Kingdom Seneschal and Society Seneschal).  In terms of my employment, my office has an extensive background check process.  In terms of my other volunteer work with nonprofits, I have had background checks every two years for the last twelve years.  In that time, neither my name nor confidential information has every been compromised.
This is extremely important and I would ask each one of you to scrupulously adhere to the standards set in the Seneschals Handbook because the security of our organization demand this in view of the fact that another lawsuit can effectively bankrupt the SCA.  I have asked Renee to give me a list of those individuals currently background checked.  If you need to touch bases regarding any individual Youth Officer or Youth Marshal, please contact me directly and I will check their status with Renee.
If you have any questions, please contact me directly via telephone at (916) 600-2716.
A.J. Pongratz
Vice President of Operations, SCA, Inc.