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Office of Security Assessments

MISSION

The Office of Security Assessments is responsible for the independent evaluation of the effectiveness of safeguards and security policies and programs throughout the Department, including protection of special nuclear material, and classified and sensitive information.  The Office has established and maintains a continuous program for assessing the security of DOE facilities through expert program and technical analysis, including a systematic approach to performance testing that is applied across all security disciplines.  In particular, the Office maintains and manages the Composite Adversary Team to run exercises to test the capabilities of facilities storing special nuclear materials to counter threats posed by terrorists in a manner that is realistic and safe.  The Office develops and validates reports that identify findings, issues, and opportunities for improvement. It also performs follow-up reviews to ensure complex-wide and site specific corrective actions are appropriately addressed.

FUNCTIONS

  • Conducts regular evaluations of safeguards and security programs at DOE sites that have significant amounts of special nuclear material, classified information, or other security assets.  The scope of the evaluations includes any or all aspects of safeguards and security including physical protection of special nuclear material, accountability of special nuclear material, protection of classified and sensitive information, personnel security, and foreign visits and assignments.
  • Assesses the information security practices at facilities managing special access programs and Sensitive Compartmented Information and reports findings to responsible program managers.
  • Conducts performance tests for the highest priority safeguards and security interests including force-on-force exercises using weapons simulation systems and limited-notice performance tests that maximize realism in assessing site response capabilities.
  • Performs regular assessments of nuclear materials assurance at DOE sites.
  • Conducts special reviews on issues that may arise from time-to-time or which may be mandated by
  • the Secretary.
  • Develops recommendations and opportunities for improving safeguards and security by line organizations.
  • Evaluates and assesses DOE policies related to safeguards and security.
  • Performs complex-wide studies of issues and generic weaknesses in safeguards and security.
  • Reviews other government and commercial safeguards and security programs to provide a benchmark for DOE performance.
  • Develops and validates reports that identify findings and issues, and opportunities for improvement.
  • Performs follow-up reviews to ensure corrective actions are effective.