“Senate Eases DOE Energy Policy”

Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy in Government Project reports in today’s Secrecy News electronic newsletter:

SENATE EASES DOE POLYGRAPH POLICY

Buried in the Defense Authorization Act approved by the Senate this week is language that would repeal the Department of Energy’s controversial polygraph policy and replace it with a more measured polygraph program.

Under the new interim procedures, anyone who does not have routine access to “Top Secret Restricted Data” could be exempted from polygraph testing. In practice, there is very little information that is classified at the TS/RD level.

The legislation directs the Secretary of Energy to develop a new counterintelligence polygraph policy, but wisely refrains from dictating the specific content of that policy.

The text of the new polygraph legislation, which must still be considered in a House-Senate conference, is posted here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2001/100301_poly.html

“As we all know, the initial response prompting … the polygraph program … was the situation of security breaches in our nuclear laboratories,” said Senator Jack Reed on September 24. “We hope and believe that is a thing of the past.”

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