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PSH-14-0012 - In the Matter of Personnel Security

On May 23, 2014, an OHA Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a Decision in which she concluded that the DOE should not restore an individual’s suspended DOE access authorization.  A DOE Operations Office referred the individual to administrative review under 10 C.F.R. Part 710, citing the individual’s outstanding delinquent federal and state taxes and other debts, issues pertaining to her overall pattern of financial irresponsibility, as well as her omission of certain information on a security questionnaire, as security concerns under 10 C.F.R. Part 710.  The individual requested a hearing before an OHA Hearing Officer.  After conducting a hearing and evaluating the documentary and testimonial evidence, the Administrative Judge concluded that the individual mitigated the security concerns raised by her omissions on the security questionnaire because the omissions were the result of the individual’s misunderstanding of certain questions on the form rather than a deliberate falsification of the questionnaire.  However, the Administrative Judge further determined that the individual had not resolved the security concerns raised by her pattern of financial irresponsibility.  In this regarding, the Administrative Judge found that, although the individual had made significant progress in addressing her outstanding debts and developing a manageable financial plan for the future, she was still in the very early stages of establishing her financial stability.  Therefore, the Administrative Judge was unable to conclude that the Individual’s financial difficulties were in the past and unlikely to recur and, therefore, do not cast doubt on her current reliability, trustworthiness or good judgment.  Accordingly, the Administrative Judge found that the DOE should not restore the individual’s suspended security clearance at this time.

Diane DeMoura - Administrative Judge