December 21, 2011

Follow-up Review of Control and Accountability of Emergency Communication Network Equipment

The Department of Energy (Department) maintains an emergency response capability known as the Emergency Communications Network (ECN).  The purpose of this network is to prepare the DOE community and especially Department Headquarters to respond with effective communications and information flow to an emergency within the Department system of sites. This is accomplished by connecting the Departmental sites across the nation with various forms of electronic communication capability: audio and video teleconferencing, e-mail, faxes, intranet, and a cross-site plotting capability.  The ECN is managed by National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Emergency Operations Support.  NNSA has contracted with National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec) for administration, maintenance and operation of the ECN network at NNSA's Nevada Site Office (Nevada).  NSTec provides oversight of the ECN Program for various sites, which includes the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 ECN inventory comprised of about 1,100 pieces of property which includes computers, laptops, servers and switches. 

In September 2004, the Office of Inspector General issued a report entitled "Control and Accountability of Emergency Communication Network Equipment," (DOE/IG-0663). We concluded that the Department had not established effective oversight of its property inventory system.  Departmental management concurred with our recommendations and stated that they took corrective actions to address the accountability issues identified in our report.

Topic: Management & Administration