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PSH-11-0003 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

Personnel Security Hearing (PSH-11-0003).  On February 1, 2012, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which he determined that the DOE should not grant an individual’s access authorization.  A DOE consultant psychiatrist, noting that the individual drank to intoxication four times per month, found that the individual was a user of alcohol habitually to excess, and that this pattern of consumption indicated that the individual had an illness or mental condition that causes, or may cause, a significant defect in judgment or reliability.  At the hearing in the matter, the individual testified that he had abstained from consuming alcohol since the first weekend of September 2011, and attended ten meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) during October, November, and early December 2011.  The DOE psychiatrist opined that there was a low risk of the individual returning to excessive use of alcohol in the future.  However, the hearing officer was not convinced that the risk of a relapse by the individual was low enough to warrant granting him access authorization.  He noted that the individual habitual use of alcohol has spanned 13 years, and during at least the last six years, the individual drank regularly to excess.  Moreover, at the time of the hearing, the individual had been abstinent from alcohol use for only three months.  The hearing officer found that, given his longstanding habitual use of alcohol, the individual had not yet established a pattern of abstinence, such that the risk of future use of alcohol to excess was low enough to resolve the relevant security concerns, and that therefore the DOE should not grant the individual access authorization.

Steven J. Goering - Hearing Officer

Affirmed (OS September 25, 2012)