Nuclear Weapons Complex:

Improving DOE's Management of the Environmental Cleanup

T-RCED-92-43: Published: Mar 30, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 1992.

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GAO discussed the overall management systems that the Department of Energy (DOE) will need to oversee the cleanup of the nation's nuclear weapons complex. GAO noted that: (1) DOE has put considerable effort into developing management systems to set priorities, estimate project costs, and track clean-up progress, but further efforts will be needed to provide management systems that ensure that clean-up funds are being used efficiently; (2) DOE has spent more than 2 years developing the Environmental Restoration Priority System to help decide which environmental restoration activities to include in the DOE initial budget request, to support the budget request during the federal budget process, and to serve as a tool in assisting DOE management in allocating the funds among field offices, programs, and installations; (3) a DOE Office of Procurement study reviewing protest cost estimates included in an August 1991 version of the Environmental Restoration and Waste Five-Year Plan found large variances in the cost estimates for individual project activities; and (4) DOE implemented the Progress Tracking System to collect monthly data for each clean-up and technology development activity or project. GAO believes that DOE needs to: (1) improve the prioritization system and determine how it will be used; (2) refine how DOE estimates costs; and (3) complete and expand the Progress Tracking System.

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