Arms Control And Disarmament Agency:

More Corrective Actions Needed to Control Classified Codeword Documents

NSIAD-90-175: Published: Jun 22, 1990. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO determined what actions the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and the Department of State took in response to its recommendations to improve the control, protection, and accountability of sensitive compartmented information (SCI) at an ACDA sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF).

GAO found that: (1) ACDA had established formal, written procedures to implement applicable directives and security regulations needed to control, file, store, and destroy SCI documents; (2) as of April 1990, ACDA had filled 2 of 3 full-time positions for overall SCIF security and document accountability and control; (3) from late 1989 through early 1990, ACDA could not account for approximately 3,000 documents in its SCI inventory, but did not comply with applicable directives when notifying the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the missing documents; (4) ACDA inability to timely report the missing documents delayed the originating agencies' ability to conduct damage assessments; (5) since ACDA did not maintain records of copies of electronically transmitted SCI messages, it did not comply with accountability and control procedures prescribed in the applicable directives; (6) since State lacked a full staff, it could not adequately review ACDA security controls and had limited ability to determine ACDA compliance; and (7) since ACDA did not complete all the CIA-required security upgrades, SCIF was still not accredited to store all SCI.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The State Department completed the required security upgrades and the Central Intelligence Agency granted final accreditation of the Intelligence and Research Bureau's Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility on September 5, 1990.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should ensure that the required security upgrades are promptly completed to obtain full accreditation of the Intelligence and Research Bureau SCIF.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: State/Intelligence and Research (INR) inventoried all ACDA SCI holdings in September 1990 and all documents were accounted for by November 1990. Subsequently, State/INR completed an 100 percent audit of documents required to be accounted for by the Director, CIA, and a 10 percent audit of all remaining documents. INR does not intend to perform an annual 100 percent audit of the later documents.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should ensure that the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research provides adequate oversight of the ACDA facility and the SCI holdings, as required by applicable directives and the memorandum of agreement. This oversight should include, at a minimum, an annual inventory of all SCI held by ACDA to ensure that all SCI is being appropriately accounted for and stored.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ACDA stated that, according to CIA, electronic messages are not controlled within the intelligence community. ACDA receives cables through State/INR (an intelligence community member) and ACDA SCIF is contained within INR SCIF. On June 26, 1991, State responded that in view of the audit trail and controls maintained by INR, both State and CIA agree that a receipt system by ACDA is unnecessary.

    Recommendation: The Director, ACDA, should implement procedures to control all incoming SCI, including copies of electronic message traffic, to ensure compliance with accountability and control procedures prescribed in the Director of Central Intelligence directive.

    Agency Affected: United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency


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