Federal Eye Eye Opener: GPO Not at Fault in Leak of Nuclear Info

Happy Tuesday! The Eye is back from an extended weekend at the beach, ready to take you through the rest of August and into mid-September, when he’ll break again for his wedding and honeymoon with Almost Mrs. Eye!

A new internal watchdog report clears the Government Printing Office of any wrongdoing associated with the publication of a document with sensitive details about hundreds of civilian nuclear sites back in June. The document contained descriptions of sensitive civilian sites, including the locations of facilities that store enriched uranium and other materials used in nuclear weapons.

In a report published Aug. 3 and distributed on Monday to reporters, GPO’s inspector general found no wrongdoing committed by GPO employees, since its the government agencies that request publication or production of government documents that are responsible for identifying sensitive or restricted information.

In this case, the House Clerk’s office requested the document’s publication on May 6 and placed no restrictions on it. It was printed and posted to GPO Access on May 6. It was removed on June 2 when the House Clerk notified GPO of its sensitivity, according to the report.

GPO officials acknowledged the agency should develop a better way to identify and halt production of documents that may be too sensitive for public distribution. The report recommends that GPO and government agencies figure out a way to clearly identify sensitive information, establish written procedures to verify those requests and ensure that GPO employees can properly recognize, handle and protect any sensitive information.

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