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The Polygraph and Lie Detection
examinations, as an announced requirement of specific jobs involving access to designated programs. The relevant polygraph examination regulations (below) cover how the agency uses polygraph examination results and the specific actions that can be taken regarding an individual’s job assignment as a result of the decisions made based on the polygraph examination.
An individual has the right to decline to take a polygraph examination, and an individual being examined may terminate the examination at any time. The DoE regulations provide details about the consequences, which include refusal to employ, assign, or detail the individual to the identified position.
According to Sec. 709.4 of the regulations (see below), people in a wide variety of positions are required to take a polygraph examination. Whether an employee or an applicant, the individual must be notified in advance and in writing. Positions in the Offices of Counterintelligence, Security, and Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance; Special Access Programs (SAPs); the Personnel Security Assurance Program (PSAP); the Personnel Assurance Program (PAP); programs that involve need-to-know or access to information specifically designated by the secretary of energy regarding the design and operation of nuclear weapons and associated use/control features; and individuals with access to “sensitive compartmented information” are subject to additional five-year periodic as well as aperiodic (i.e., irregular) reinvestigation polygraph testing.
A polygraph examination at DOE is considered to include three phases: (1) the pretest interview, (2) the in-test phase, and (3) the post-test phase. If the examination does not reveal any issues that must be resolved, it can be completed in an average time of about two-and-a-half hours. However, if it does reveal such issues, the examination process may extend into additional testing.
The methods and procedures used by polygraph examiners are standardized and follow established guidelines. The Test for Espionage and Sabotage (TES) is normally the initial format for all DOE counterintelligence scope polygraph examinations. However, the DOE polygraph examiners have the authority to determine and use the best technique(s) for the examination, based on the circumstances encountered during the pretest interview.
All DOE examiners are trained at the U.S. Department of Defense Polygraph Institute (DoDPI), and each has had his or her basic, advanced, and specialized training at or sanctioned by DoDPI. During training, examiners practice both giving examinations and scoring them under the supervision of experienced instructors. Each federal examiner is required to serve a minimum of a 6-month internship under a certified examiner.