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Project on Government Oversight




DOE Admits DOE Security Weaknesses: Claims Budget Increases Needed

April 22, 2002 


The Department of Energy (DOE) has failed to win supplemental funding for security at nuclear weapons facilities from the Bush Administration, according to a document obtained by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).

Today, Representative Edward Markey released the document and sent letters to the Department of Energy and President Bush to demand that inadequate security be addressed at the facilities.

Since September 11 DOE has not updated its Design Basis Threat for nuclear weapons facilities, meaning the number of attackers and the kinds of weapons that terrorists would use in an attack. As a result, the Office of Management Budget has turned down funding requests from the agency.

Danielle Brian, POGO's Executive Director, stated "For months the agency has been publicly denying security weaknesses at nuclear weapons facilities. In this document, the DOE acknowledges that they are not currently adequately protecting the public from a terrorist attack."

The letter from Bruce M. Carnes, the Department of Energy's Chief Financial Officer is written to the Office of Management and Budget. According the letter, "We were told by Energy Branch staff that the Department's security supplemental proposals were not supported because the revised Design Basis Threat, the document that outlines the basis for physical security measures, has not been completed. This isn't a tenable position for you to take, in my view. We are not operating and cannot operate, under the pre-September 11 Design Basis Threat. Until that is revised we must operate under Interim Implementing Guidance, and you have not provided resources to enable us to do so."

POGO has been working with more than 30 whistleblowers and government insiders who are experts on security at nuclear weapons facilities. In October 2001, POGO released a report that was co-authored with some of the DOE experts on the failing security at the facilities.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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