Nuclear Waste:

Quarterly Report as of March 31, 1989

RCED-89-178: Published: Aug 14, 1989. Publicly Released: Aug 14, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided the status of the Department of Energy's (DOE) implementation of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, focusing on: (1) the status of an unsuccessful bidder's pending lawsuit over alleged conflict-of-interest violations under a pending DOE management contract; (2) concerns about the legal risks of using a management and operating-type contract; and (3) previous findings relating to DOE administration of contracts for managing and operating DOE nuclear facilities.

GAO found that: (1) although a DOE attorney testified that it had not violated conflict-of-interest statutes because the prescribed time period had expired prior to the contractor's involvement in the procurement, a court decision was still pending; (2) DOE stated that only management and operating-type contracts would permit a contractor to accomplish the range of work required; (3) although DOE took action to improve its contract administration, it did not require its contractors to publish notices for procurements over $100,000, establish procedures for management contractors to follow in seeking competitive procurements, or establish procedures to implement anti-kickback legislation; (4) DOE hired a new firm to manage and operate one nuclear plant after it found that it could have saved $10 million annually through competitive procurement; (5) DOE acceptance of a contractual relationship that permitted deviations from DOE standards resulted in unnecessary personnel costs of about $20 million in 1987; and (6) DOE needed to implement recommendations resulting from audits of its management and operating contractors to ensure that nuclear waste program operations were more cost-effective.

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