FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2003
Sandia to conduct security stand-down
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories will conduct a security stand-down at all of its sites in the latter part of November. This is the latest in a series of initiatives to improve security at the lab.
“Our nation places a great responsibility in our hands each day, based on trust that has been painstakingly earned by more than 50 years of exceptional service,” said Sandia President and Labs Director C. Paul Robinson. “It is imperative that we maintain that trust by ensuring security at our lab remains uncompromised.”
To allow flexibility, each of Sandia’s organizations will conduct the stand-down on two days of their choosing during the period Nov. 17-26. Every organization will focus on their own work environment and perform a careful introspection of their security responsibilities to ensure that all employees comprehend and accept their security responsibilities, Robinson said.
The stand-down will include instruction in the handling of sensitive and classified information, computer security and password protection, site physical security protection, and security infraction reporting and procedures.
The stand-down is the latest in a series of efforts to improve security that began with a March 20, 2003, news conference in which Sandia announced changes in its security management. Other initiatives since then have included the appointment of a new Sandia vice president to oversee security; the hiring of additional security guards; the creation of a corrective action team to identify cultural, structural, and operational issues that have given rise to security problems; a new corporate policy that defines management’s responsibility to respond to security concerns; mandatory training of all management to improve how issues are handled; and now the implementation of labs-wide training to ensure security remains strong.
In addition, Sandia has undergone increased oversight of its security operations, the latest of which is a comprehensive audit of Sandia’s security practices by the Department of Energy Office of Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance (OA). Although the classified report, which is still a preliminary draft, acknowledges Sandia for its recent security improvements, it also outlines areas in need of continued improvement. The OA report is one in a series of both internal and external reviews over the past year that are assisting Sandia in improving its security operations.
“While we have made major progress in our security performance, problems still exist,” Robinson said. “We cannot fulfill our missions if we are perceived to be less than 100 percent vigilant in the protection of our classified assets. This is a responsibility shared by all Sandians.”