Polygraph Use by the Department of Energy: Issues for Congress [Updated April 7, 2006]   [open pdf - 71KB]

"On January 7, 2005, the DOE proposed a new regulation that would institute a polygraph screening program, but only for individuals with regular access to the most sensitive information. The result would be to reduce from more than 20,000 to approximately 4,500 the number of DOE and contractor personnel potentially subject to mandatory polygraph tests. DOE's new proposal came after some Members of Congress urged that the Department adopt a more focused polygraph program in the wake of a 2002 study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that questioned the validity of polygraph testing, particularly when it is used for screening purposes. In the wake of the Wen Ho Lee case, DOE in March 1999 initiated and later announced its first-ever use of the polygraph to screen approximately 800 DOE federal and contractor employees in certain high-risk programs.2 Congress in October 1999 formally mandated that DOE employ the polygraph as a screening tool (P.L. 106-65, Sec. 3154) and expanded the program to cover 13,000 DOE employees. The following year, Congress further expanded polygraph screening to cover approximately 20,000 DOE employees (P.L. 106-398, Sec. 3135). In part because of continuing opposition by some DOE nuclear weapons laboratory employees, Congress in 2001 requested that NAS review the scientific evidence regarding the validity and reliability of the polygraph, particularly when used for personnel security screening. Congress directed DOE to institute a new polygraph program that took into account the NAS findings (P.L. 107-107, Sec. 3152)."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31988
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations