WASHINGTON -- Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement F. Amanda DeBusk today announced agreements with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA, concerning alleged shipments of various commodities without the proper Department of Commerce authorizations.
In 1996, the Department of Energy (DOE) discovered that the labs may have made the unauthorized exports and brought the matter to the attention of the Department. LANL and LLNL fully cooperated in the investigation.
The Department of Commerce alleged that LANL, on four occasions from 1994 to 1996, and LLNL, on one occasion in 1994, shipped commodities to Russia without obtaining the export licenses required under the Export Administration Regulations. The exports by LANL occurred under the Department of Energy Material Protection, Control and Accounting Program, designed to reduce the threat to U.S. national security posed by unsecured Russian weapons-usable nuclear material. The commodities consisted of devices for measuring nuclear material, a communications router, a 486 computer and a printer. The export by LLNL occurred under a separate lab-to-lab project.
Assistant Secretary DeBusk stated, "If the labs had applied for licenses, it is likely the Commerce Department would have granted them because the exports were covered by a presidential order to assist Russia in the control and monitoring of their nuclear materials. The program to help Russia stop the unauthorized removal of their nuclear materials is designed to enhance America's national security."
DeBusk continued, "As a result of these investigations and the resulting agreements, we are seeing significant improvements in the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore compliance procedures compared to what they were five years ago. We are working closely with the labs and DOE on new training programs, and we will carefully monitor the required export control audits."
The agreements call for the labs to audit past transactions to ensure that exports to countries of concern were in compliance with the licensing requirements; increase their training of personnel on export controls; and provide increased technical training to the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) on nuclear matters.
The agreements will be reinforced by a new export control program implemented by the Departments of Commerce and Energy. Under this program, officials from the DOE complex will work at BXA so that they can enhance their compliance systems while at the same time providing BXA basic ongoing technical support on nuclear matters.
The Department of Commerce, through BXA, administers and enforces export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation and short supply. Criminal penalties, as well as administrative sanctions, can be imposed for violations of the regulations.
In April of 2002 the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) changed its name to the Bureau of Industry and Security(BIS). For historical purposes we have not changed the references to BXA in the legacy documents found in the Archived Press and Public Information.