Wednesday, June 14, 2000
Rick Malaspina (510) 987-0105
Cellular phone (510) 333-6284


University of California President Richard C. Atkinson today (June 14) announced the start of the first of two independent reviews of management practices, structure and performance at the Los Alamos National Laboratory related to two missing computer hard drives.

The university manages the Los Alamos laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The reviews are separate from the inquiry underway by the DOE and the FBI. The two UC review panels will report their findings directly to Atkinson.

"I expect these reviews to be incisive and expeditious," Atkinson said. "The university is prepared to take all appropriate personnel action and to work with the laboratory in implementing corrective measures necessary to strengthen security at Los Alamos. This incident is unacceptable. We will not tolerate weaknesses in security at the national laboratories managed by the University of California."

The UC reviews will examine Los Alamos management responsibility in connection with the security incident -- from the director level through the chain of management associated with the program in question. The reviews will examine root causes of problems and systemic issues that need to be improved to guard against a recurrence of similar incidents.

The initial UC review that will begin today at Los Alamos will concentrate on management practices and performance related to the incident. The review will be conducted by retired Rear Admiral Robert H. Wertheim and Francis Sullivan, director of the IDA Center for Computing Sciences in Bowie, Md.

The second, more extensive examination will be conducted by a five-member panel led by retired Rear Admiral Thomas A. Brooks, III. He is a former director of U.S. Naval Intelligence and currently is chairman of the Laboratory Security Panel of the UC President’s Council on the National Laboratories. The panel will more broadly examine laboratory management structure and practices related to the incident.

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