Highlights for FY 2007 include:
- Personnel security hearings. Under DOE's personnel security program, OHA conducts hearings concerning an individual's eligibility for access to classified information or special nuclear material. In FY 2007, we accelerated our resolution of older cases, reducing the number of older cases from 31 to 7.
- Whistleblower cases. Under the DOE Contractor Employee Protection Program, OHA conducts investigations and hearings and considers appeals concerning whistleblower claims filed by DOE contractor employees. In FY 2007, we accelerated our resolution of older cases, reducing the number of older investigations from 5 to 0, as well as reducing the number of older hearings and appeals from 6 to 4.
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act Appeals. OHA considers appeals of agency denials of requests for information. In FY 2007, we continued to provide timely decisions.
- Exceptions. OHA considers requests for relief from certain regulatory requirements, primarily Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting requirements and the DOE appliance efficiency standards. In FY 2007, OHA resolved two older EIA- related requests and resolved all other exceptions cases in an average of less than 90 days.
- $1 Billion Crude Oil Overcharge Refund Program. OHA made final refunds of over $200 million to 29,000 claimants. OHA expects to make final refunds to the remaining 1,000 claimants in early FY 2008. Since 1980, the Department has utilized the crude oil overcharge funds to support the minority bank deposit program, with deposits in 2004 reaching a high of $256 million.
- Elk Hills Oil Field (Formerly Naval Petroleum ReserveNo.1). In a 1997 agreement, Chevron and DOE agreed to a process in which OHA makes the final decision concerning a $200 million dispute over equity interests in the field's production. As FY 2007 closed, OHA received an appeal concerning the Stevens Zone, the largest producing zone in the field.