There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2005 and each fiscal year thereafter for the implementation, maintenance, and operation of the database required by subsection (e).
Consistent with the protection of sources and methods, nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to authorize the withholding of information from Congress or the taking of any personnel action against an employee who lawfully discloses information to Congress.
If a disclosure is made during the normal course of duties of an employee, the disclosure shall not be excluded from paragraph (1) if any employee who has authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action with respect to the employee making the disclosure, took, failed to take, or threatened to take or fail to take a personnel action with respect to that employee in reprisal for the disclosure.
An employee or former employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to a reprisal prohibited by paragraph (1) may, within 90 days after the issuance of notice of such decision, appeal that decision within the agency of that employee or former employee through proceedings authorized by subsection (b)(7), except that there shall be no appeal of an agency’s suspension of a security clearance or access determination for purposes of conducting an investigation, if that suspension lasts not longer than 1 year (or a longer period in accordance with a certification made under subsection (b)(7)).
If, in the course of proceedings authorized under subparagraph (A), it is determined that the adverse security clearance or access determination violated paragraph (1), the agency shall take specific corrective action to return the employee or former employee, as nearly as practicable and reasonable, to the position such employee or former employee would have held had the violation not occurred. Such corrective action may include back pay and related benefits, travel expenses, and compensatory damages not to exceed $300,000.
In determining whether the adverse security clearance or access determination violated paragraph (1), the agency shall find that paragraph (1) was violated if a disclosure described in paragraph (1) was a contributing factor in the adverse security clearance or access determination taken against the individual, unless the agency demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that it would have taken the same action in the absence of such disclosure, giving the utmost deference to the agency’s assessment of the particular threat to the national security interests of the United States in the instant matter.
The Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense, shall develop and implement policies and procedures for adjudicating the appeals authorized by subparagraph (A).
Consistent with the protection of sources and methods, at the time the Director of National Intelligence issues an order regarding an appeal pursuant to the policies and procedures established by this paragraph, the Director of National Intelligence shall notify the congressional intelligence committees.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit, authorize, or require a private cause of action to challenge the merits of a security clearance determination.