Top-secret computers taken from Energy Dept.

April 01, 2007|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- The office in charge of protecting American technical secrets about nuclear weapons from foreign spies is missing 20 desktop computers, at least 14 of which have been used for classified information, the Energy Department inspector general reported Friday.

This is the 13th time in a little over four years that an audit has found that the department, whose national laboratories and factories design and build nuclear warheads, has lost computers.

Aside from computers it cannot find, the department is also using computers not listed in its inventory, and one computer listed as destroyed was being used, the audit said.

"Problems with the control and accountability of desktop and laptop computers have plagued the department for a number of years," the report said.

A spokesman for the department, Craig Stevens, said that Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman "recognizes that we need to manage this place better."

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