FORT COLLINS - Laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including Fort Collins labs, have been repeatedly cited in private government audits for failing to properly secure potential bioterror agents such as anthrax and plague, and not training employees who work with them, according to "restricted" government watchdog reports obtained by USA Today.

"These weaknesses could have compromised (CDC's) ability to safeguard select agents from accidental or intentional loss and to ensure the safety of individuals," according to a 2010 report by the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general.

The IG probed federal lab security after a scientist at an Army lab was implicated in the anthrax attacks in 2001. The IG also noted problems with CDC lab security in reports from 2009 and 2008.

Although the locations of the labs examined by the IG's auditors were redacted from the reports, Henderson said the 2010 and 2008 audits involved labs on the CDC's main campus in Atlanta, and the 2009 audit was of the agency's labs in Fort Collins.