Los Alamos axes four

"Internal Controls Over Personal Computers at Los Alamos National Laboratory"

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Los Alamos National Laboratory officials fired four workers this week as a result of two July safety and security incidents, a laboratory spokesman said today. In addition, seven workers will receive disciplinary action, ranging from written reprimand to demotion.

The actions were "directly related to a safety incident and a security incident," said laboratory spokesman Kevin Roark.

The Energy Department's inspector general found in August the laboratory is vulnerable to loss and theft of PCs.

Some classified desktop computers were not properly inventoried, and employees did not give required notification of a missing part of a computer, according to a report released by the inspector general. The lab's listing of classified computers was inaccurate, and identification and accreditation paperwork was in disarray, the report stated.

Energy officials agreed with the findings.

But they are working to remedy chronic security weaknesses and classified media mismanagement. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham renewed efforts in May to tighten security by announcing a host of reforms, including a goal of converting many computers with classified data into disk-free stations in five years.

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