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Texas Lie Detectors Go Without Effective Regulation

Texas polygraph examiners are not subject to effective regulation, according to a recent report by the Sunset Advisory Commission, which reports to the Texas Legislature.

Passing a lie-detector test can be crucial to getting or keeping a job. Key to ensuring the accuracy of polygraph results is the examiner’s skill. In Texas, though, the skill and disciplining of polygraphers has been called into question by a recent report from the Sunset Advisory Commission.

According to the report prepared by the Commission, Texas polygraphers are often licensed not on how they perform on the state licensing exam, but on who they know. Further, poor examiners are rarely disciplined.

The report lays blame for these problems on the Texas Board of Polygraph Examiners (TBPE). The Commission found the TBPE to be ineffectual and rife with conflicts of interest. Accordingly, the report recommended that the TBPE be eliminated and oversight of Texas polygraphers be transferred to the Department of Licensing and Regulation.


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