When a contractor is doing work for a government agency, the client is going to want to know who are the employees that shall perform the actual work. There are many levels of validating these employees. At my company they requires that contractor employees get fingerprinted. It seems this is the same as the author of the Software Maintenance blog.
In the past I had to go to the police station to get a set of current fingerprints. Then I would take this to the government agency that issued the contract to my company. This was a messy business, with the ink for my fingers. It was also a bit disturbing to go into the police station. I felt like I was getting fingerprinted next to all the criminals that were getting processed.
Luckily my government client handles all the fingerprinting. And they have modern machines that can take the print digitally. No more need for messy fingerprint ink. The digital fingerprint scanner does not always work on the first try. But it is a big improvement over the old technique.
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