September 16, 2013
Unclassified Foreign National Visits and Assignments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
During calendar year 2012, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge), which is managed by UT-Battelle, LLC, hosted approximately 6,400 foreign national visitors and assignees (foreign nationals). Such visits and assignments can be beneficial to the Department but may also create certain security risks.
Our inspection revealed that improvements are needed in the implementation of the Department's Foreign National Visits and Assignments Program at Oak Ridge. We determined that contrary to Host Agreements and individual security plans, hosts did not always maintain accountability of foreign nationals as required. In addition, we found that Oak Ridge Office of Counterintelligence officials did not ensure that required Counterintelligence consultations had been documented and completed in the Department's Foreign Access Central Tracking System (FACTS) for foreign nationals prior to their visits.
Although we did not identify any instances in which export information or other scientific information was inappropriately obtained by a foreign national, the risk that these events could occur is higher than acceptable because of the weaknesses in Oak Ridge's program. We also found that the Oak Ridge Host Audit Program, which provided management oversight of the Foreign National Visits and Assignments program, had also not been effectively implemented.
The Oak Ridge Site Office concurred with the report recommendations and identified actions it had planned or had already taken to address our recommendations. We consider management's comments responsive to our recommendations.
Topic: Management & Administration