GPO’s Woes Continue with Missing Laptops Saga

WASHINGTON, DC—Dec. 22, 2010—It has been a tough week for the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). First came a government waste report from Sen. Tom Coburn that took the GPO to task for spending $60,000 on its “Squeaks Discovers Type!” educational comic book. Now it’s still struggling to deal with the fallout from a report that 88 laptops supplied to the agency have gone “missing”—some potentially containing sensitive data.

The latest development is the release of the following statement:

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has found no evidence there was a security breach or sensitive information has been compromised resulting from the missing laptops discovered by the agency’s Inspector General (IG). GPO has recovered some of the missing laptops and believes many were re-issued and not stolen. Regarding the IG’s report that claims one of the laptops “potentially contains” sensitive e-passport information, GPO has a record that the laptop of the Security and Intelligent Documents Product Security Manager (who retired) was wiped clean, but then apparently was not able to locate the laptop to prove that to the IG. Upon further investigation, this laptop in question is currently within GPO’s possession and verified the memory has been wiped clean.

In 2008, GPO’s IT department has been encrypting newly issued laptops and finished upgrading deployed laptops to prevent access to data in the event it is lost or stolen. GPO has a process of turning in used laptops to the agency’s IT department to have the hard drives erased or destroyed. However, the IG report noted the agency needs a better inventory control system once a laptop has been re-issued or destroyed. Enhanced security procedures have been instituted to control these critical assets. GPO has embarked on a comprehensive process to improve our inventory management.

About the The U.S. Government Printing Office
The GPO is the federal government’s primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating, and preserving published U.S. government information in all its forms. GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the federal government. In addition to publication sales, GPO makes government information available at no cost to the public through GPO’s Federal Digital System ( and through partnerships with approximately 1,220 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit Follow GPO on Twitter and on YouTube

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