You’re Fired: Senate Passes New Penalties for Those Who Lie on Their Background Investigation
Senate Passes Bill to Terminate Those Who Falsify Background Investigation Information
On December 15, 2014 the Senate passed the Security Clearance Accountability, Reform, and Enhancement Act and sent it to the House of Representatives for a vote. The bill would require the Office of Personnel Management to take action against anyone who engages in covered misconduct or intentionally attempts to affect the integrity of a background investigation report, including the withholding or providing of false information on the background investigation questionnaire. The applicant or employee would be terminated or placed on administrative leave pending completion of the due process, and if found culpable, be debarred.
The term “covered misconduct” is defined in the bill as:
Misconduct affecting the integrity of a background investigation conducted by or for an agency with investigative authority to conduct background investigations, including–
(A) falsification of any information relating to a background investigation; or
(B) other serious misconduct that compromises the integrity of a background investigation;
What does this mean for Federal job applicants and current Federal employees and contractors? The bottom line is this: should it be determined that they engaged in misconduct that affected the integrity of a background investigation then they are unfit for federal employment or to perform work on a federal contract, will be terminated, and debarred for a period of up to three years. This bill still has to pass the House vote and be approved by the President before it becomes law, but it appears to be well on its way.