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Summary of Decisions - September 30, 2013 – October 4, 2013

October 4, 2013 - 8:45am


Personnel Security Hearing (10 CFR Part 710)

On September 30, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which she determined that an individual’s access authorization should be restored.  In reaching this determination, the Hearing Officer found that the individual had resolved the security concerns raised by his falsification on a 2009 Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP) when he responded negatively to the question regarding illegal drug use.  The individual was 19 and still in college when he completed the form.  In 2012, the individual was required to complete another QNSP after gaining employment with a DOE contractor, and was honest about his illegal drug use.  The Hearing Officer found that the individual was young and immature in 2009 when he falsified his first QNSP, and that he had corrected the falsehood as soon as he obtained a new position with the federal government.  Also, the testimonial evidence indicated that the individual is an otherwise honest person and the Hearing Officer found that the individual’s behavior is unlikely to recur.  After considering the whole person concept, the Hearing Officer found that the individual had adequately mitigated the security concern with his falsification.  OHA Case No. PSH-13-0085 (Janet R. H. Fishman, H.O.)

On September 30, 2013, a Hearing Officer determined that an individual’s security clearance should not be restored. In reaching this determination, the Hearing Officer found that, based upon psychiatric testimony presented at the hearing, the individual had sufficiently mitigated the security concerns with a diagnosis by a DOE psychiatrist that the individual suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Persistent Disorder of Initiating or Maintaining Sleep, and Major Depressive Disorder.  However, the Hearing Officer concluded that the individual had not sufficiently mitigated the agency’s concerns with the individual’s pattern of making false, incomplete or misleading representations to DOE security personnel. OHA Case No. PSH-13-0023 (Robert B. Palmer, H.O.)

Whistleblower Complaint (10 CFR Part 708)

On September 30, 2013, OHA issued a decision granting an Appeal filed by Earl Ballard of the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office’s (PPPO) dismissal of his whistleblower complaint for lack of jurisdiction or other good cause.  OHA found that PPPO did not provide Mr. Ballard with an appropriate opportunity to supplement his complaint before dismissing it, and therefore remanded the case to PPPO.  OHA Case No. WBU-13-0014