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Inspection Report: INS-O-12-01

October 27, 2011

Follow-up Review of Security at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The Department of Energy is required to ensure adequate security is provided to safeguard the Department's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), one of our nation's critical infrastructures.  SPR has the largest stockpile of Government-owned emergency crude oil in the world and exists foremost as an emergency response tool the President can use should the United States be confronted with an economically-threatening disruption in oil supplies.  In June 2005, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on "Review of Security at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve," (DOE/IG-0693).  Management concurred with our report recommendations.  In our follow-up inspection, we determined that SPR officials have generally taken corrective actions to improve SPR's security processes.  However, our inspection revealed a concern regarding Security Police Officers' understanding of situations in which the use of deadly force was permitted at three of the four SPR sites we visited.  This weakness occurred, in part, because Department management had not concentrated their attention on ensuring that responsible facilities contractors appropriately applied the Department's deadly force policy.  Management concurred with the recommendation and stated that they had taken corrective action in response to this report.