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Administrative Review

The Administrative Review (AR) process allows an individual with unresolved derogatory information to request a hearing and present his/her case in front of an Administrative Judge. The burden is on the individual to present documentation, through exhibits and/or testimony, to support why the clearance should be granted and/or restored. Following the hearing, the Administrative Judge will make a decision. The decision can be challenged by the respondent or DOE through the appeal process. Detailed information can be found in the Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 710, Criteria and Procedures for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Matter or Special Nuclear Material.

The following steps will occur in determining your eligibility for access authorization in accordance with the 10 CFR 710:

  1. When the Director of the Office of Personnel and Facility Clearances and Classification (OPFCC) has recommended initiation of AR or suspension of a security clearance (access authorization) based on a serious concern, then OPFCC must request, within ten days, approval to initiate AR from the Director, Office of Departmental Personnel Security at DOE Headquarters (HQ).
  2. The individual will receive a Notification Letter from OPFCC when HQ approves the AR.  The Summary of Security Concerns (SSC) attached to the Notification Letter specifically states each concern DOE has in relation to the individual’s clearance.
  3. Upon receipt of the Notification Letter, the individual will be given the opportunity to:

a)     Request an AR hearing:

i)      The purpose of the AR hearing is to provide an individual with the opportunity to present their case to a third-party Administrative Judge.  If the individual requests a hearing, the required written response may address each specific DOE concern listed in the SSC.  The response must be returned to the OPFCC within 20 calendar days from receipt of the Notification Letter.  During the hearing, the individual may be represented by an attorney of choice, at the individual’s expense.

ii)    A copy of relevant documents from the personnel security file (PSF) will be released during the discovery phase of the hearing for use in preparation.

iii)  The individual will receive a copy of the hearing transcript after the hearing has been conducted.

iv)   The administrative record will be forwarded by the Office of Hearings and Appeals, HQ, to the Director, OPFCC.  The OPFCC will provide the individual with a copy of both the administrative record and the Administrative Judge’s decision, and outline the appeal rights if the decision is unfavorable.  If the decision is favorable, then OPFCC and DOE HQ have the right to appeal.  Should an appeal be filed, the case will go before a DOE Appeal Panel for a final decision.

b)     Request an initial decision regarding your clearance be made by the OPFCC Director:

i)      The Director of OPFCC will make an initial decision regarding the security clearance if the individual declines a hearing. A written response should reflect this declination.  Additional information may also be provided to the Director for assessment regarding each specific DOE concern listed in the Notification Letter.

ii)    This initial decision will be forwarded to the individual in approximately 30 days.  If the decision is unfavorable, the correspondence will outline the individual’s appeal rights.  Should the individual file an appeal, the case will go before a DOE Appeal Panel for a final decision.

     4. The OPFCC will notify the employer of the final clearance decision.