Since any potential liability is mostly to the campus, why must the departments be responsible for the decision to designate a position as sensitive and for providing the funding?
The policy places the responsibility on the department to determine which of their positions should be designated sensitive. Additionally, there can be financial consequences for a department when a crime is committed in that department. For financially sensitive positions: the University has an insurance policy for employee dishonesty, but the deductible is $1,000,000. The department would have to pay for losses under that amount. For other sensitive positions: although it is true that the General Liability Self-Insurance Program would pay for many of these liabilities, under certain circumstances the General Liability Program could compel departments to pay for the first $50,000 of any loss. The most common reason the General Liability Self-Insurance Program asks for department contributions is "violation of University or campus policy." Failure to conduct a background check when appropriate would fit under that category. Currently, there are no central campus funds available to help off-set this expense. The responsibility and cost of background checks may provide an incentive to some departments to structure their internal business processes with needed checks and balances to avoid the need for the background checks.
The current rate (as of April 2016) for background checks is $94-105 for the combined Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports. The campus Police Department (UCPD) is responsible for coordinating the background checks and will recharge the department for this service. The rates were established and approved by the campus Recharge Committee, are subject to annual review and may be modified in accordance with campus recharge policy.