DOE Polygraph Program Put on Hold

In an article entitled “Lab Security Measures Shelved Pending Study,” Washington Post staff writer Walter Pincus suggests that expanded polygraph screening has been suspended pending a review. Excerpt:

In his last days in office, former energy secretary Bill Richardson temporarily suspended a series of measures that had been taken over the past two years to tighten security at the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories.

Richardson discontinued some of the measures, which included giving polygraph or “lie detector” tests to more than 10,000 employees, pending a high-level review to determine whether they have done more harm than good.

He had instituted many of the security measures under pressure from Congress after allegations of Chinese espionage at the lab. But laboratory managers and scientists have complained in recent months that the crackdown was making it difficult for them to do their jobs and for the labs to recruit first-rate researchers.

“I’m not just concerned with security,” Richardson said in a telephone interview. “I was concerned with the morale of the labs.”

In addition to widespread polygraphing of Energy Department employees, the measures included tighter computer security, limited access to classified materials and controls over foreign visitors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *