Personnel Security Hearing (PSH)

Access Authorization Not Restored; Guideline F (Financial Considerations); Guideline E (Personal Conduct)

On September 18, 2023, an Administrative Judge determined that an individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should not be restored. The Individual is employed by a DOE contractor in a position that requires her to hold a security clearance. In December 2022, as part of its continuous evaluation process, the Local Security Office (LSO) discovered, through a credit report, that the Individual had four outstanding delinquent accounts that she had not reported to the LSO. The LSO eventually discovered that the Individual had two current collection accounts and nine delinquent accounts over the prior seven years. At the hearing, the Individual's supervisor testified that all of his employees had undergone training regarding the reporting requirements associated with holding a security clearance. However, the Individual testified that, as a security clearance holder, she did not know that she had a responsibility to report financial issues. The Individual submitted evidence showing that she had hired a debt consolidation company to help her resolve one of the collection accounts as well as three of the delinquent accounts. She also submitted evidence showing that three of the delinquent accounts, not being resolved by the debt consolidation company, held $ 0 balances. However, as of the date of the hearing, the Individual had only made one payment to the debt consolidation company, and she stated that she had no plan for resolving the second collection account. Additionally, the Individual testified that she was not certain that she could continue to meet all of her monthly financial obligations. She further testified that she did not have a strong understanding of her financial situation. As such, the Administrative Judge found that the Individual had not yet mitigated the Guideline F and Guideline E security concerns, and she concluded that the Individual's access authorization should not be restored. OHA Case No. PSH-23-0094 (Katie Quintana)

Access Authorization denied; Guidelines G, I, and J

On September 21, 2023, an Administrative Judge (AJ) determined that the Individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should not be granted.

A DOE Psychologist found that the Individual met the DSM-5-TR criteria for three disorders: Alcohol Use Disorder, Severe (AUD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and Major Depressive Disorder ( MDD).

At the hearing, the Individual presented evidence showing that she had, for the past six months (1) abstained from alcohol use, (2) complied with the medication regime recommended by her Psychiatrist, (3) been engaged in a SMART Recovery group, (4) attended aftercare, (5) attended individual therapy, (6) attended dialectical behavioral therapy, and (7) adhered to her treatment team's recommendations.  The AJ found that she was presently in early remission from these disorders and that if she were to continue with these programs, her AUD, BPD, and MDD would likely remain in remission.  However, the AJ further found that a six month period of remission was not sufficient to show that the Individual was likely to continue these activities, since the Individual had a significant history of discontinuing her treatment and returning to alcohol abuse, problematic behaviors, and criminal activity.

The AJ therefore concluded that the Individual's access authorization should not be granted. (OHA Case No. PSH-23-0086, Fine)