Department of Energy:

DOE Contractor Employee Training

RCED-98-155R: Published: May 8, 1998. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the training given to Department of Energy (DOE) contractor employees for fiscal years (FY) 1995 through 1998, focusing on the: (1) percentage of contractor training courses at selected DOE locations that the contractor estimated were required by federal or state regulations or DOE orders; (2) length and cost of specific contractor training courses at selected DOE locations; (3) performance measures used at selected DOE locations to evaluate contractor training efficiency or effectiveness; and (4) actions taken at selected DOE locations to reduce contractor training costs.

GAO noted that: (1) DOE's spending for contractor employee training has decreased dramatically, but DOE and contractor officials identified four actions that could reduce contractor training costs: (a) consolidate training operations where multiple DOE contractors or multiple contractor training organizations are present; (b) subcontract training courses to qualified vendors; (c) use training course materials from other DOE locations rather than develop courses independently; and (d) standardize the development and the delivery of similar contractor training courses; (2) the possibility for implementing these actions may vary, depending on the circumstances at individual DOE sites; (3) for fiscal years (FY) 1995, 1996, and 1997, DOE spent about $465 million, $390 million, and $322 million, respectively; (4) DOE estimates that it will spend about $305 million for contractor training in FY 1998; (5) the DOE contractors included in GAO's review estimated that the vast percentage of the training they provided to their employees was required by federal or state regulations; (6) in regard to information on the length and the cost of specific training courses, GAO's comparison of 25 similar courses showed that the courses' length in hours and the cost per classroom hour varied considerably among the contractors reviewed; and (7) DOE has not developed a set of performance measures to evaluate contractor training departmentwide and, as a result, for those contractors included in GAO's review, DOE field locations used various measures for FY 1997 to evaluate contractor training performance.

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