February 17, 2012

Property Accountability and Protection of Federal Sensitive Unclassified Information Under the Cooperative Agreement with the Incorporated County of Los Alamos

On September 30, 2008, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) entered into a 5-year Cooperative Agreement with the County of Los Alamos.  The Cooperative Agreement contained provisions for the management of Federally-owned personal property provided to the Los Alamos County Fire Department (Fire Department) by NNSA.  In December 2010, the Office of Inspector General received a complaint alleging that Federal government property, including computers, was missing from the Fire Department.  During our initial evaluation of this complaint, we also became aware that Sensitive Unclassified Information provided to the Fire Department by Los Alamos National Laboratory may not have been adequately protected.  Therefore, we initiated this inspection to determine if Federally-owned personal property under the Cooperative Agreement was adequately managed.  We also added the issue of the protection of Sensitive Unclassified Information to the scope of our review.  We substantiated the allegation that property, including computers, was missing.  Despite Department of Energy requirements, effective processes and procedures were not in place to ensure the proper control and accountability of Federally-owned personal property in possession of the Fire Department.  In addition, we found that the Fire Department may not have adequately protected Sensitive Unclassified Information in its possession.

Topic: Management & Administration