Energy IG pans notebook lapses at Los Alamos

The Los Alamos National Laboratory has lost control of its inventory of classified and unclassified notebook PCs, the Energy Department inspector general reported last month.

The report was the latest in a string of management problems that resulted in Energy secretary Spencer Abraham's decision last week to put the lab's management contract out to bid for the first time in its 60-year history.

In his report, Energy IG Gregory H. Friedman said 70 percent of the 1,093 new computers Los Alamos bought during fiscal 2001 and 2002 did not have property numbers in a purchase card database and bar coded tags as required by the lab's regulations.

PCs are considered sensitive items and must be tracked through the lab's Property Inventory System.

Los Alamos 'could not accurately account for its single-user, standalone classified laptop computers,' the IG report said. Four notebooks used for classified work were not on the Office of Cyber Security's list of classified computers.

The report also faulted Los Alamos for writing off so-called unlocated computers.

During fiscal 2001 and 2002, 22 notebooks were designated as unlocated. The IG recommended making lab workers financially liable for the missing hardware.

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