DOE Did Not Provide the Subcommittee With All Documents Related to the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Steam Generator Contract

EMD-82-56: Published: Mar 17, 1982. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 1982.

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GAO was asked to determine the Department of Energy's (DOE) rationale for not providing a congressional subcommittee with requested information about the procurement of a contract for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor (CRBR) steam generator.

GAO found that eight key documents were not provided. These documents fall into three categories: (1) those showing the original procurement strategy; (2) those demonstrating how and why Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) officials changed the procurement method; and (3) those showing internal disagreement on altering the procurement method and the selection of the awardee. DOE did not provide the Subcommittee staff with five key documents which described the original steam generator procurement strategy. These five documents were important to understanding the contract award process because they established the AEC original intent to have the contract awarded on a competitive basis. DOE explained that it did not provide these documents because they were considered unrelated or too voluminous. A key memorandum that discussed the basis for canceling the competition and awarding the contract to the awardee was not provided because it could not be located at the time of the investigation. The decision to cancel the competitive procurement and direct the contract award was not undertaken without considerable internal disagreement. Two key documents establishing the ERDA dissension were not provided. Without these documents, the Subcommittee would not have the full story concerning the award.

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