Audit Report - US Department of Energy
achieve this goal. For instance, Y-12 was only using Argus' Homeland Security
Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) technology to manage physical access to
approximately 1 percent of the site. In addition, NNSA could not fully fund all available
Argus functionality. As a result, Y-12 was forced to rely on its existing Identity
Verification System, which could not be integrated with Argus, to provide access control
to the rest of the site.
• While the Argus implementation originally proposed to meet NNSA's mandate by
updating all security infrastructure components, officials did not replace certain system
components, such as the legacy alarm wiring cabinets and sensors. This resulted in
compatibilit y issues and significantl y increased the number of false or nui s ance al arm s
that operators received. Alarm station operators told us they were not able to efficiently
perform their duties because they had to repeatedly address nuisance alarms.
• Local site map design issues within Argus resulted in various errors that negatively
affected the efficiency of Y-12's security and alarm operations. For instance, the system's
site-level maps included many unnecessary elements, such as parking lots, which
cluttered the visual fields, negatively affecting operator response time and hampering
situational awareness. Location labels within the maps were also di ffe rent fro m the
legacy system information, creating a significant learning curve for the console operators.
NNSA and Y-12 officials encountered a number of challenges that affected the ability to fully
implement needed security upgrades. Perhaps one of the most significant challenges was the
need for NNSA officials to balance the requirement to install Argus with available resources.
This ultimately drove decisions regarding the system's implementation approach and limited the
use of HSPD-12 technology to enhance physical access controls throughout the site. However,
even within the confines of the effort's funding limitations, we found that management
weaknesses existed that contributed, at least in part, to the issues identified with the
implementation of the securi ty enhanc emen ts . In particular, a lack of effective communication
and cooperation between operations personnel and project managers contributed to the identified
Y-12 officials told us that they gained a better understanding of the shortcomings with their
implementation of the Argus system and had initiated steps to achieve full system functionality.
In addition, Y-12 hired a team of subject matter experts in 2012 to review its Argus
implementation. This team of experts issued a report that identified the need to reengineer
certain components of the original installation. While reengineering appeared to be necessary to
address existing system shortcomings, such actions will take considerable time and resources. In
the intervening period, Y-12's security posture will be challenged by prolonged high rates of
nuisance alarms and a series of security processes that are overly complicated.
Site officials indicated that until funding is available and deficiencies in the legacy infrastructure
can be addressed, they will continue to compensate for the deficiencies by using additional
personnel at significant additional cost. In light of the issues identified, we made several
recommendations that, if fully implemented, should aid NNSA and Y-12 in further improving
the site's security posture.
Audit Report - US Department of Energy PDF
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