As I understand it ASRC Mission Solutions Engineering (MSE) employee, Rose Wells told MSE FSO Fran McKenna that MSE employee Anna Baran (plaintiff) allegedly made statements to Wells that Baran intended to go get a rifle and return to MSE and shoot 3 employees. McKenna reported the matter as an Incident Report via JPAS and notified MSE HR. MSE HR interviewed a few people to try to determine what happened. HR was satisfied that terminating Baran was the correct action.
The NISPOM requires that “Contractors shall report adverse information coming to their attention concerning any of their cleared employees. Reports based on rumor or innuendo should not be made.”
Notwithstanding the “rumor or innuendo” instruction contained within the NISPOM, the Becker Court nonetheless recognized a contractor’s lack of discretion in reporting actual as opposed to merely “suspected” adverse conduct, and that “the obligation [to report adverse information] embraces both true and false accusations, both substantial and insubstantial suggestions, perhaps even encompassing rumors.”
In the Baran case the allegation was neither rumor nor innuendo. An allegation is not a rumor if the source of the allegation is known. In this case an employee, Wells, made the allegation directly to the MSE FSO. The NISPOM does not require the FSO to investigate the accuracy of the allegation. That’s the responsibility of the Government. Unless it could be proven that McKenna knew the allegation to be false, McKenna had no choice but to report the allegation via JPAS. IMHO, if Wells was a KMP at MSE, then MSE might be liable. Otherwise, Wells is liable, but not MSE.
Normally if new information surfaces, an FSO is supposed to submit via JPAS, but that become a bit unclear after the individual has been separated from the company in JPAS.