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PSH-13-0085 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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 the Local Security Office (LSO) under Criterion F arising from his falsification on a 2009 QNSP.  In 2007, the Individual was 19 and still in college when he completed the form without advice or counsel.  He responded negatively to the question regarding his illegal drug use.  In 2011, approximately 19 months after leaving his previous employment, the Individual was hired for an internship with the DOE and his DOE mentor counseled him to be truthful.  Therefore, when he completed his 2011 QNSP, he indicated that he had used illegal drugs in 2008.  In 2012, the Individual was required to complete another QNSP and was honest about his illegal drug use on that form as well.  At the hearing, the Individual admitted that he lied on the 2009 QNSP.  He stated that he was young and afraid he would not get the position if he admitted to his drug use.  The Hearing Officer found that the Individual was young and immature in 2009 when he lied on his first QNSP.  In addition, he maintained his falsehood for only four months and corrected it as soon as he obtained a new position with the federal government.  Also, the testimonial evidence indicates that the Individual is an otherwise honest person.  Further, he came forward on his own without being confronted by the DOE or DOD regarding his falsification.  The Hearing Officer found that the Individual’s behavior is unlikely to recur and that the Individual has taken positive steps to eliminate his vulnerability to exploitation or blackmail.  After considering the whole person concept and all the evidence, the Hearing Officer found that the Individual mitigated the security concern.  Therefore, the Hearing Officer concluded that the Individual’s access authorization should be restored.

Janet Fishman - Hearing Officer