Terry Jeffrey

Two employees of contractors working at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used dead peoples' Social Security numbers, according to DOE's Office of Inspector General.

Four others used Social Security numbers the government has not yet issued, and two shared the same Social Security number.

The fact that workers for contractors at DOE's Berkeley lab were misusing Social Security numbers -- and thus, by definition, working under false identities -- was revealed in a report DOE's IG completed on April 15.

That means it came almost six years after the same IG's office revealed -- as reported in this column on June 23, 2005 -- that it had discovered that 16 illegal aliens had been working for contractors at DOE's Y-12 facility at Oak Ridge, Tenn.

"The mission of Y-12 includes the manufacture of nuclear weapons components; weapons dismantlement, storage, and evaluation; and, the warehousing of enriched uranium material," the IG had explained in a June 14, 2005, report.

"Specifically, we determined 16 foreign construction workers were illegal aliens," said the report. "Some of these workers acquired facility access badges and were permitted access to the main Y-12 site, and others were permitted access to an adjacent Y-12 leased facility. Certain information associated with the construction of the Y-12 leased facility, which was planned to store documents up to the Secret-Restricted Data level, was considered Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI) and Official Use Only (OUO). Consequently, these individuals may have had opportunities to inappropriately access this type of information."

"Also," said the report, "we learned that the Office of Counterintelligence was not aware of the presence of foreign construction workers at the Y-12 leased facility until notified by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) during this inspection."

As a result of the IG's discovery, Y-12 officials reportedly revamped their access policy.

"Y-12 officials issued a revised access policy entitled 'Citizenship Verification Requirements for Access to the Y-12 National Security Complex,'" said the IG's report. "The revised policy addressed the concerns we had raised to Y-12 officials during our review."

The IG then recommended Y-12's new access policy be "fully and consistently implemented" and DOE ensure that "other Department facilities include inspection steps specific to the issues discussed in this report."

That was under the Bush administration.

Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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