Over three years, there were 16 alcohol-fueled “incidents” involving employees of the Office of Secure Transportation, a federal office responsible for safely driving nuclear weapons and material around the country.
That’s according a report out today from the Energy Department’s inspector general, prompted by complaints that alcohol abuse and alcohol-related incidents involving current agents “were some of the biggest problems facing OST.”The report does not provide many specifics. It does, however, describe the two of them, saying they were of the “greatest concern.”
Of the 16 incidents, 2 were of the greatest concern because they occurred during secure transportation missions while the Agents were in Rest Overnight Status, which occurs during extended missions where convoy vehicles are placed in a safe harbor and Agents check into local area hotels. In 2007, an Agent was arrested for public intoxication, and, in 2009, two Agents were handcuffed and temporarily detained by police officers after an incident at a local bar. OST management took what appeared to be appropriate action in these cases. However, in our judgment, alcohol incidents such as these, as infrequent as they may be, indicate a potential vulnerability in OST’s critical national security mission.
Read the full report here.
The IG points out that those 16 incidents were involved just a handful of the office’s nearly 600 agents.
The report also acknowledges problems with alcohol during new agents’ 21-week training program, specifically at the training facility in Fort Chaffee, Ark.
The inspector general’s office was also responding to complaints about the Human Reliability Program, which ensures that drivers and other agents are reliable. Those complaints — that violations under the program are not always reported and that the program is administered unfairly — were not substantiated, the report said.