Lying on Security Forms is a Sure Way to Get Denied a Security Clearance

Originally published at:

On this forum we have repeatedly stressed honesty and full disclosure when filling out the SF-86 application for a security clearance and advising applicants to take responsibility for previous conduct or behavior that may be of concern. Most FSOs and Security Managers grill their applicants and provide the same advice. Yet, time and time again…

In case of committing an error or mistake while filing out SF-86, does disclosure of this error during the interview with investigator helps mitigating the impact of that error ?

@wullah - yes it does help mitigate.

What if the investigaor had an old SF86?

Please see my post here: Investigator had old SF86 and not the newest and accused me?

Suggestion: search for old post that @dave019 wrote regarding to material falsification. His post had useful and beneficial information.

it depends… mainly on what was the “error” was and how you disclosed it during the interview. For instance, if you disclosed the derogatory information upfront, you will stand better chance of mitigating versus being confronted with derogatory information by the investigator.

I really appreciate these very informative replies. I have one more question about the impact of Item# 12 on the OF-306 Declaration of Federal Employment Form. I was let go off a previous job with a private corporation for not performing according to the expectations. It happened within 5 years. How does this impacts the possibility of getting a job with Federal Government?

Performance has no bearing in adjudication as long as you disclose all information.

Much Appreciated. I am filing out SF-86C form as well. This form correlates with my last submitted SF-86. Can explain the mistake that I made while filing out the SF-86 or I should only mention any changes to my previously answered SF86 questions?

As a TS holder, i have been interviewed many times…both for myself and as references for other. There is no way a person can remember every single detail. I have had 2nd to 5th repeat interviews where they have found something that was omitted. I was honest and said I forgot and then gave them all the details i could remember.

I think part of the investigation being face to face is to judge how honest and forthcoming you are. Did you “intentionally” forget or was it an honest oversight. Character always matters.

1000% disagree with you. I can remember everything on the forms when filling them out. Then again I am an organized person and keep accurate records.

Address and street names aside, a person should be able to remember if they were arrested, did drugs etc. Omitting those is on purpose with the hopes of not getting caught.

Not necessarily true. Equip is not the most friendliest of programs. After several reinvestigations where all information is in auto-fill, occasionally something is dropped off. For example, a dwi arrest from 1979 that has been on all previous investigations since 1980, but for some reason, did not show up on the current one. This is not an intentional omission by the subject. There would be no motivation for that. It was a software problem or at worst, an accidental deletion.

I have never had anything drop of my Equip. I verify every block to make sure the data is correct. I have a very clean background, so mine is pretty easy.

Will see your point and say something from 40 years ago may drop off, but I have see things omitted from 2005, 2010, 2015, etc. Those are not dropping off, those are omitted on purpose.