Audit says Los Alamos Lab broke rules

August 1, 2006

U.S. Department of Energy auditors say the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico violated administrative procedures involving data protection.

The department's Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation into an incident in which lab workers failed to remove a hard drive from a surplus computer that was sold at auction last year, the Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal reported.

Although the hard drive did not contain sensitive personal or classified information, auditors said the incident raises security concerns at the nuclear weapons laboratory, the newspaper said.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, which supervises operations at the facility, said it has taken actions to prevent a similar occurrence.

Los Alamos is one of the largest multi-disciplinary institutions in the world, employing about 10,000 people including physicists, engineers, chemists, mathematicians and other scientists. It has an annual budget of more than $2 billion.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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