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PSH-13-0001 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

On May 1, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a Decision in which she determined that an Individual’s access authorization should not be restored. In reaching this determination, the Hearing Officer found that the Individual had not resolved the security concerns arising from his financial irregularities. The Individual declared bankruptcy in 2004 and had a significant number of outstanding debts. He was interviewed by the Local Security Office (LSO) in 2004, 2009, and 2012, regarding his bankruptcy and his debts. He assured the LSO that he understood DOE’s concerns regarding financial irresponsibility and that he would pay off his debts. An August 2012 credit report showed outstanding debts and the Individual was called in for his third interview. At that time, he asserted that some of the debts listed on the credit report had been paid. At the hearing, the Individual showed that he had paid five of the obligations in full, including $600 owed to the Internal Revenue Service. Three other obligations were paid after his 2009 interview and the final obligation was paid in January 2013 after he borrowed money from a friend. In addition, the Individual showed that he was paying on a payment plan for a number of the bills. Finally, the Individual stated that he paid one bill, but documentation provided showed it was not paid until after the hearing. Because the Individual had not shown that his financial irregularities had happened long ago or infrequently, were beyond his control, or under control at the time of the hearing, the Hearing Officer could find that he mitigated the concerns raised by the LSO. Prior cases involving financial irregularities state that once a pattern of irresponsibility is shown, the Individual must show a sustained pattern of financial responsibility. That was not evident in this case. Therefore, the Hearing Officer concluded that the Individual’s access authorization should not be restored.

Janet Fishman - Hearing Officer