When a person’s job requires a security clearance issued by the federal government, they are required to submit a completed standard form (SF) 86 which is also known as the electronic personnel security questionnaire (EPSQ). Obviously, if no one has had any issues in their past, then completing this form is simple. The issue comes up and people get worried when they do have problems that have arisen in their past and they become concerned with how to address them on the security clearance form. Our experience with handling security clearance revocation cases is that it is rarely the underlying conduct that causes a problem for an applicant for a security clearance but, rather, the failure to fully disclose the information on the SF86/EPSQ form. If conduct, behavior, or history was required to be disclosed on the security clearance form but was not, and the government discovers it, that is the quickest way for a security clearance to be denied in the first place or revoked after it is given. As a result, our counsel is to be fully open and candid in answering the security clearance form and to fully explain the issues or problems regarding with whatever issues concern you. You are allowed to add additional explanations and paragraphs to any area in which you have concerns. Disclosure and candor as it relates to a security clearance application is very important.
Ron Sykstus is a Managing Partner of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and a Juris Doctorate from the Northern Illinois University College of Law. Ron has served in numerous positions throughout the U.S. Army and now utilizes his expertise in the areas of VA issues, security clearances, military law, and bankruptcy to assist his clients when they need it most. Read his full bio here.