PSH-20-0053 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On August 4, 2020, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual should not be granted access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The Individual submitted a Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP) in which he denied that he had ever received inpatient treatment for an emotional or psychological condition. The Individual disclosed on the QNSP that he had been arrested for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) on two occasions. A background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revealed that the Individual failed to disclose on the QNSP that he had   been hospitalized for psychological treatment after experiencing a schizophrenic episode, and also that he had omitted two citations for Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) from the QNSP. In an interview with an OPM investigator, the Individual asserted that the omission of   this information from the QNSP was an oversight. However, during a clinical interview with a DOE-contracted psychologist (Psychologist), the Individual indicated that he had intentionally omitted the information to better his chances of obtaining a security clearance. At the hearing,   the Psychologist testified that the Individual had resolved the alcohol use disorder that led to    his alcohol-related criminal offenses through a combination of treatment and abstinence from alcohol. The Psychologist testified that she found the Individual to have been forthcoming and truthful during the clinical interview, and character witnesses testified on behalf of the Individual that he was an honest and reliable person. The Individual offered varying explanations for his omission of information from the QNSP, including forgetfulness, fear, lack of acceptance of his alcohol use disorder and psychological diagnoses, and a lack of diligence. The Individual asserted that he would not omit information when completing government forms in the future. The Administrative Judge determined that the Individual had successfully managed his alcohol use disorder through years of treatment and abstinence from alcohol and was unlikely to commit alcohol-related criminal offenses in the future. Therefore, the Administrative Judge determined that the Individual had resolved the security concerns under Guideline J. However, the Administrative Judge determined that the Individual had not timely disclosed the information that he omitted from the QNSP, and that his explanations for   the omissions during the hearing were equivocating and did not support the Individual’s assertions that he would act truthfully in the future. Therefore, the Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual had not mitigated the security concerns asserted by the LSO under Guideline E and that he should not be granted access authorization. OHA Case No. PSH-20-0053 (Steven L. Fine, 202-287-1490).