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Summary of Decisions - December 23, 2013 – December 27, 2013

December 27, 2013 - 8:20am


Personnel Security Hearing (10 CFR Part 710)

On December 23, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which he determined that an individual’s request for a DOE access authorization should not be granted.  The individual admitted that he had used a neighbor’s internet connection without permission on several occasions and had downloaded copyrighted software and media to his computer without permission from the copyright holders.  The individual further admitted that he has struggled with an addiction to pornography since he was 11 years old.  The Local Security Office referred him to a DOE psychologist who diagnosed the individual as suffering from Other Specified Paraphilic Disorder (OSPD), a condition that the DOE psychologist opined can cause significant defects in his judgment or reliability.  After conducting a hearing and evaluating the evidence, the Hearing Officer found that individual had mitigated the security concerns arising from his unauthorized use of neighbor’s internet connection and downloading of copyrighted software and media.  However, the Hearing Officer found that the individual had not shown that he was reformed or rehabilitated from his OSPD, since the individual would not acknowledge that he had a mental condition requiring treatment.  OHA Case No. PSH-13-0103 (Steven L. Fine)

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal

On December 23, 2013, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Daniel W. McKeel, Jr. (Appellant) of a determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).  In his request, the Appellant asked for a copy of “any and all documents related to shipments by truck or rail, in the 1951-2000 time frame, of magnesium-thorium alloy metal plates, . . ., from Dow Madison, Illinois, Atomic Weapons Employer . . . [energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA)] site to the Rocky Flats (DOE) EEOICPA site in Golden, Colorado.”  NNSA found no responsive documents in the documents stored in 900 boxes transferred from Rocky Flats to NNSA.  NNSA stated that it searched the 127-page index, using multiple keywords, including magnesium-thorium, strikes, semi-truck, rail cars, rail, transport MOD Center, Building 440, and shipment.  It also searched the classified database.  The search was performed by six different individual with specialized knowledge of the Rocky Flats records.  Given the scope of NNSA’s search for responsive information, OHA found that its search was adequate.  The standard for an agency search is that it be reasonable, not exhaustive.  OHA Case No. FIA-13-0075