• United States



by Dave Gradijan

IG: Dept. of Energy Lost Computer Equipment

Mar 21, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Intelligence (IN) has lost at least 18 pieces of “computer processing equipment”—one piece of which was a laptop—and officials are unsure of whether the equipment was used to process sensitive information, according to a recent DOE inspector general’s report.

“During our field work we identified numerous discrepancies regarding the program office’s sensitive property inventory,” said Gregory H. Friedman, the DOE’s IG. “Consequently, we worked extensively with program officials during the course of the review in an effort to reconcile the inventory discrepancies and strengthen inventory controls. Nevertheless, problems still remained at the conclusion of our review.”

The IG report, deemed “Internal Controls Over Sensitive Property in the Office of Intelligence,” was released last week, and it found:

-Officials lost 18 pieces of “sensitive computer processing equipment” and have been unable to determine what that equipment was used for, and if it contained sensitive information.

-Officials had not reported the missing items to the Office of Security, as is required under department policy.

-Officials had not logged 287 pieces of sensitive property, as is required under the agency’s Property Management Standards.

IN representatives told the IG that though the laptop could have been used to process sensitive information, there is no accreditation documentation for it because it was “legacy” equipment.

Regarding the other missing items, “computers that are attached to an accredited network are not individually accredited and IN does not maintain historical records indicating which equipment processed classified information,” the report read.

IN officials also said they did not document which specific machines processed what because they dispose of all computers as if they had processed sensitive information, according to the report. No disposal records were found for the 18 lost pieces of computer equipment.

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