PSH-20-0012 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On March 27, 2020, an Administrative Judge determined that an individual should not be granted access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The Individual is employed by a DOE contractor, and she electronically submitted a Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP) as part of her application for a security clearance. In it, she disclosed that she had failed to file both her federal and state tax returns for the last five consecutive years. After the Individual provided additional explanation to the local security office (LSO), including a response to the LSO's Letter of Interrogatory (LOI), the LSO informed the Individual that the information created substantial doubt concerning her eligibility for a security clearance under Guideline F. At the administrative hearing, the Individual presented evidence and witnesses testimony that she successfully worked with a tax preparer to file her federal and state tax returns. After the hearing, the Administrative Judge found that the Individual had not mitigated Guideline F concerns because, while the Individual may have "made arrangements with the appropriate tax authority to file or pay the amount owed and is in compliance with those arrangements," that mitigating condition was outweighed by two factors. First, the Individual's delay in addressing her tax obligations until she was forced to address the issue in the QNSP and the LOI. Second, her inadequate justification for the delay. Thus, the Administrative Judge remained concerned regarding the Individual's future unwillingness to meet her tax obligations or abide by rules and regulations. As such, the Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual should not be granted access authorization. OHA Case No. PSH-20-0012 (James P. Thompson III).