Lying on Security Forms is a Sure Way to Get Denied a Security Clearance
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 I run across appeals cases where the applicant decided to withhold information or just outright lie and was subsequently denied a clearance. The irony in this is many of these cases, had the applicant been truthful and owned up to the conduct they lied about, they would probably have been granted clearance eligibility. Below is the case summary that is a classic example of what not to do:
This clearance applicant filled out an SF-86 in 2011 and failed to disclose drug use (marijuana) and related arrests between that occurred between 1999 and 2008. In 2014 the applicant submitted another SF-86 and once again failed to disclose his previous drug use and criminal history (including a 2012 DUI). During his subject interview he gave multiple excuses for omitting the DUI and claimed a faulty memory and being bad with dates as the excuse for not listing the drug use and arrests. Of course this led to a denial and in his DOHA appeal he provided inconsistent testimony and argued that the judge in the initial denial was incorrect in the finding that he had “deliberately” falsified his SF-86. He also argued the investigation was faulty and he should not have been issued a statement of reasons in the first place. Needless to say, the DOHA judge was unmoved by these arguments and upheld the clearance denial.
So, to reiterate once again, full disclosure and honesty is the best policy, and will provide adjudicators the opportunity to apply mitigation to any issues or concerns. If you lie about an issue that happened five or ten years ago you have now created a new issue effective on the date you lied about it!