What if I Lie When Applying for Security Clearance?

When a candidate applies for security clearance, the individual must go through what is called the “adjudicative process.” This process consists of a detailed examination of the majority of the person’s life so it can be determined if he or she is worthy of a security clearance, and not considered a “security risk” to the American people.

In order for someone to be eligible for security clearance, he or she must meet the established personnel security guidelines, which are covered under the Adjudicative Guidelines. During the adjudicative process, a number of variables are carefully weighed in what is commonly known as the “whole-person concept.”

During the adjudicative process, the applicant’s background is closely inspected. All reliable, past and present information about the applicant, good and bad, is closely evaluated and used to reach a final determination.

Dishonesty About Personal Information

When a person is seeking security clearance, they will be required to fill out various forms, such as the security questionnaire and the personal history statement. They may also be interviewed by their employer, a security official, an investigator, a government representative, or a competent medical authority, or any combination thereof.

While filling out these forms and when being asked questions by the above parties, the applicant may get nervous about their past. They may wonder, “Should I mention my domestic violence arrest or my DUI?” or “If I leave out the fact that I filed bankruptcy over 10 years ago, will it matter?” or “Will they catch it if I don’t disclose my sexual assault conviction from my youth?”

Sometimes these events, while negative, happened years earlier and the applicant either sought rehabilitation or they made amends. Depending on the facts of the situation, the issue may have been completely overlooked if the applicant was open and honest about it.

However, if the applicant took measures to conceal or withhold the negative event, their deliberate omission or concealment could raise a security concern, ultimately disqualifying an individual who may have been qualified if they were truthful.

Under Guideline E of the Adjudicative Guidelines, when someone deliberately omits or conceals information from their personnel security questionnaire or personal history statement, or if they deliberately lie about relevant facts to their employer, a security official, a doctor, or a government representative, they can be denied a security clearance.

When you applied for security clearance, did you leave accidentally leave something out, or did you unintentionally provide false or misleading information that led to disqualification? If so, contact our security clearance attorneys for assistance!