Government Watchdog Finds DOE Lacking Adequate Oversight of “Work for Others” Program at National Labs

November 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC –The Government Accountability Office today released a report on the Department of Energy’s Work for Others (WFO) program, which allows the national laboratories to conduct work for other federal agencies and non-government entities provided that the work does not hinder DOE’s mission. Continuing the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s ongoing oversight of DOE management, bipartisan committee leaders requested the report to ensure DOE is operating the program in a way that recovers costs and avoids adverse impacts to the laboratories’ mission and facilities.

The report, aptly entitled “DOE Needs to Improve Oversight of Work Performed for Non-DOE Entities,” found DOE lacks adequate oversight of the program. GAO found that “DOE officials have not ensured that WFO program requirements are consistently met” and recommended that “DOE take steps to ensure compliance with project approval requirements; require laboratories to establish written procedures for charging costs to projects; specify what the annual program reviews should include; produce annual reports on WFO activities; and establish performance measures for the WFO program.”

In response to the report’s findings, full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, “With Secretary Moniz implementing a number of agency management reforms, this report underscores the kind of detailed work necessary for the agency to perform more effective oversight of how it spends taxpayer dollars and what it gets for that spending.”

To view a copy of the GAO report, click HERE.

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