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July 29, 1999

Stu Nagurka, 202/586-4940

Energy Secretary Richardson Orders
Department-wide 'Security Stand-Down'

Latest Action To Immerse Employees
In Intense Security Education, Training

To further fortify sweeping security reforms at the U.S. Department of Energy, Secretary Bill Richardson today ordered a department-wide "security stand-down." DOE sites with a national security mission will be the first to carry out the directive when they cease routine work activities on Aug. 3 to participate in a day-long program of security training and education.

By the end of August, employees at every DOE facility will have participated in the compulsory stand-down. (Weapons laboratories that have already conducted security stand-downs are exempt.) Specific activities will be tailored to reflect the specific needs and situations of each location involved in the stand-down.

"Every one of our workers must realize -- if they don't already -- that every job carries with it a security obligation," Richardson said. "I'm ordering this action to ensure that DOE is doing everything possible to protect America's secrets and sensitive technologies. Without exception, participation is required."

Secretary Richardson ordered the move on the advice of his new security chief, Eugene Habiger, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command. "Security must remain an inherent part of our day-to-day work ethic and culture," the retired general said. "We at the Energy Department have been given a special trust by the American people and Congress. This stand-down is a vital next step to ensure that all of our facilities, regardless of their missions, are living up to that special trust."

"Because Department of Energy laboratories have such broad and diverse missions, from defense research to open academic science, we recognize that it is unwise to create a ‘one-size-fits-all' security plan," added Dr. Ernest Moniz, Under Secretary of Energy and the department's top scientist. "This phased security stand-down will enable DOE to fit the security needs to the programs that are carried on at each facility."

The stand-down is the third that Secretary Richardson has ordered. On June 21-22, he directed the management and employees of DOE's three weapons labs (Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia) to carry out a two-day security immersion program. In April, all classified computers at these weapons labs were shut down for two weeks for security upgrades and worker training. In addition, DOE headquarters employees who work in the offices of Defense Programs and Nuclear Nonproliferation have completed security stand-downs. These actions are part of a forceful series of measures that Secretary Richardson is taking to detect and correct long-standing bureaucratic problems and resource deficiencies within the department's security operations.

Except for locations which already have completed security reviews, all department facilities across the country will be required to take part in the stand-down. Employees who work at facilities or laboratories conducting no classified work will focus on computer network security, host responsibilities for foreign visits, export control regulations and property protection. Topics also will include security-sensitive matters such as terrorism, local threats, computer hackers, disgruntled employees, unintentional errors and natural disasters.

On Aug. 3, at facilities where classified work is done, daily activities will stop as employees examine personal responsibilities for security, counterintelligence and cyber-security. Secretary Richardson has instructed management to make certain that the reviews address individual responsibilities to enforce and respect effective counterintelligence, security and cyber-security procedures; historical safeguards and security problems within certain parts of the department; status of implementing previous counterintelligence, security and cyber-security improvements already underway by previous directives from Secretary Richardson; and cyber-security actions being taken throughout DOE's weapons complex, especially actions and personal responsibility that individuals should take on e-mails and other personal computer use.

Make-up sessions will be arranged for any employee unable to participate due to leave, travel, illness or experimental activity that, for safety and continuity, requires personal attention. The order requires that all employees complete the program by Aug. 31. While the stand-down at locations with a national security mission will take the entire day, security reviews at facilities where no classified work is performed are not expected to last the entire day.

The security stand-downs are among several steps already being carried out as part of the largest reform of security programs in DOE history. These include an overhaul of the department's security management and oversight function, new counterintelligence and cyber-security measures, cyber-threat training and a zero-tolerance security policy.

- DOE -


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