Energy Management:

Entertainment Costs Under DOE's Uranium Enrichment Production Contract

RCED-92-230FS: Published: Jul 30, 1992. Publicly Released: Aug 6, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on entertainment costs the Department of Energy (DOE) permitted under its enriched uranium production contracts, focusing on allowable costs for entertainment and alcoholic beverages incurred as part of marketing activities.

GAO found that: (1) DOE initiated a new marketing strategy in early 1984 to restore competitiveness, including enhancement of customer services and marketing activities; (2) in February 1988, under the uranium enrichment contract, DOE allowed the contractor to incur entertainment costs retroactively to November 1985; (3) between fiscal years 1986 and 1991, approximately $554,000 out of $24.8 million for marketing costs was for entertainment and alcoholic beverage costs; (4) entertainment and alcoholic beverage costs were prohibited by law in DOE contracts; (5) by its interpretation of the law, DOE believed that alcoholic beverage costs incurred under the uranium enrichment contract were allowable because the contractor's marketing activities were solely in support of and for the benefit of DOE and did not indirectly help the contractor market its own products; (6) DOE developed criteria for management and monitoring of entertainment costs, including requiring advance approval to serve alcohol; (7) it could not find documentation showing compliance with the criteria; and (8) DOE directed the contractor to document in future quarterly reports the reasonableness of expenses, the customer function's effectiveness, and whether the function served its purpose and should be continued.

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