The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) does not have a clear path and vision for its security performance and oversight.
From 2009 to 2012, NNSA implemented a number of actions to improve its security performance and oversight, but did so without first developing a roadmap for its security program and an implementation strategy, the GAO report said. In some cases, the NNSA implemented its own security policies instead of directives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE and NNSA also scaled back on security inspections and increased reliance on contractors to monitor and evaluate security performance, the report said.
GAO said some of those same actions were identified by both the DOE and NNSA as being among the causes of a security breach in 2012 at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee in which a nun and two other people entered the complex and spray painted a building on the site. Without a security roadmap, GAO said the NNSA will continue a “chaotic” and “dysfunctional” period in the security program since the breach.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee asked for the investigation in May 2010 after the announcement of security reforms initiated by then DOE Secretary Steven Chu and Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. Members at the time were concerned that the reforms actually decreased safety and security.
GAO said it recommends that NNSA develop a clear roadmap and an implementation strategy. To read the entire report, click here.
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