In November, the Project on Government Oversight, a private watchdog group, urged that Brooks be fired, saying he had been slow in implementing a two-year-old policy to do away with removable storage devices in weapons-related computers.
In his message to employees, Brooks, who came to NNSA in July 2002, bemoaned the lack of progress in solving security problems at Los Alamos. "We have not yet done so in over five years," he said.
But the rash of security problems date back to the late 1990s, frustrating senior DOE officials.
They include the disappearance of two hard drives containing classified material that later were found behind a copying machine and the disappearance of two computer disks that forced a virtual shutdown of Los Alamos. It later was learned the two disks never existed.
Among other incidents were lost keys to classified areas containing highly enriched uranium, use of less secure e-mail systems to transmit classified material, scientists losing track of vials of plutonium and the alleged improper use of government credit cards.
On the Net:
Energy Department: http://www.doe.gov
National Nuclear Security Administration: http://www.nnsa.doe.gov