These Two Questions Cause the Most Trouble On Background Investigations

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There are two topics during background investigation processing that cause the most problems for applicants: failure to disclose criminal history and how you left a previous employment. The Standard Form 85, 85-P or 86 (used for all investigation levels also require submission of the OF-306 (Declaration for Federal Employment). There are key differences in what…


This says the OF-306 asks only for convictions, probation, parole, or imprisonment and employment terminations in the last 5 years. I got told I ommited my arrest on the OF-306
which did not result in a conviction since it got dismissed and that was problematic.

Unfortunately, some view “imprisonment” as arrested. Not saying they’re right. The real problem is the fingerprint report will show the arrest and criminal conduct (even if not convicted) can be a disqualifying condition under HSPD-12 standards. I would always answer that question as yes and explain in great detail in block 16 of the OF306. It’s unfortunate, because most in your shoes would answer the question the same way and half the time it would not be an issue. Working with HSPD-12 (T1 level investigations) daily is the only way I learned this could potentially be an issue.

Thanks for the input. I gave them my explanation on Nov. 22 and waiting to hear back. Why is it that the T1 investigation are done differently where some would be ok and then some would have an issue with it?

It’s a lower level investigation with fewer questions leaving more to interpretation.