Dear Lab colleagues,
Recently a team from the Department of Energy conducted an assessment of how well we follow DOE’s Foreign Visitors and Assignments (FV&A) processes as prescribed in DOE Order 142.3A. The order covers how we host our international colleagues–who are extremely important for the success of our scientific mission–while protecting technology and knowledge that might be valuable to a foreign government or as Lab intellectual property. The assessment pointed out many areas for improvement. We are taking DOE’s findings seriously, and we are taking immediate action.
I have set up a task force to help me with near-term measures to bring the Lab into alignment with DOE’s requirements. This includes dedicating resources to understanding and following the current processes while making progress toward putting into place an FV&A program that fully meets the intent of DOE requirements.
Why should we do this? Protecting the physical and intellectual assets of the Laboratory is an important element of the nation’s trust in us. Each of us has a responsibility to the taxpayers and to our sponsors to ensure we are taking care of the Lab’s and the nation’s intellectual property.
In the near term, I would like everyone at the Lab to review the security procedures we follow that protect information. Further, if you are currently a host of international colleagues, or a supervisor or manager of a host, you have additional responsibilities:
— If you are a host of international visitors or collaborators, refresh your knowledge with this 15-minute host training.
— If you are a supervisor, make sure you know who your team members are hosting and whether these procedures have been followed.
— If you are a manager, discuss the FV&A program at your next staff meeting. Bring any questions to the task force at [email protected]
I will be regularly reporting our progress to our colleagues at DOE, and I will share corrective actions as they are implemented. Over the long-term, I want us to have processes that are focused and clear and that balance the need for valid information protection with our need to continue to collaborate with our colleagues from around the world.
Thank you for helping maintain the nation’s trust in Berkeley Lab.