On October 23, 2020, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual's access authorization should not be granted under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The Individual is employed by a DOE contractor and is an applicant for security clearance. The DOE obtained information that the Individual met the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder under the DSM-5; that a contractor DOE Psychologist determined that the condition impaired the Individual's judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness; and the Individual was previously hospitalized for mental health treatment.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Administrative Judge found that the information presented by the DOE justified the LSO's invocation of Guideline I. Next, the Administrative Judge found that the security concerns associated with Individual's prior hospitalization were mitigated because (1) the Individual's inpatient treatment and hospitalization occurred when the Individual was a minor, (2) there is no indication in the record that the emotional issues that led to the Individual's hospitalization have reoccurred for many years, and (3) the Individual's Psychiatrist opined that the Individual is stable and has a positive prognosis.
The Administrative Judge then found that the Individual had not mitigated the remaining psychological concerns related to his Autism Spectrum Disorder because (1) the DOE Psychologist opined at the hearing that the Individual's condition is chronic and placed him at risk of inadvertently compromising security; (2) absent the testimony of the Individual's Psychologist, critical questions concerning the Individual's progress and status remained unanswered; (3) the Individual's testimony raised doubts about his progress in learning appropriate social interactions, and (4) the Administrative Judge remained concerned that the Individual did not possesses sufficient social discernment and abstract thinking skills to act with the judgment and reliability required of a security clearance holder.
Accordingly, the Administrative Judge found that while the Individual mitigated the security concerns related to his inpatient treatment for a psychological condition, he did not mitigate the Guideline I security concerns associated with his Autism Spectrum Disorder. Accordingly, the Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual should not be granted access authorization. OHA Case No. PSH-20-0066 (James P. Thompson III).