Open Recommendations (131 total)

Small Business Innovation Research: Agencies Need to Fully Implement Requirements for Managing Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should ensure that the Office of Science's SBIR/STTR program tracks SBIR and STTR fraud, waste, and abuse referrals to the Office of Inspector General. (Recommendation 13)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should ensure that ARPA-E's SBIR/STTR program collects the required certifications from new SBIR and STTR awardees, beginning in future funding opportunity announcements, without material differences from the language in the SBIR/STTR Policy Directive. (Recommendation 11)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should ensure that the Office of Science's SBIR/STTR program collects the required certifications from SBIR and STTR awardees, beginning in future funding opportunity announcements, without material differences from the language in the SBIR/STTR Policy Directive. (Recommendation 12)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Sexual Harassment: NNSA Could Improve Prevention and Response Efforts in Its Nuclear Security Forces

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Energy should fully implement plans to address the department's EEO program deficiencies relevant to sexual harassment and work with NNSA to fully implement plans to address the agency's EEO program deficiencies relevant to sexual harassment. (Recommendation 5)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

DOE concurred with this recommendation. DOE stated that it has completed actions to address some of the issues identified by EEOC and has demonstrated progress to address remaining issues. DOE also stated that it will continue to work with NNSA to address issues and further strengthen practices. DOE estimated that it would demonstrate successful completion by September 30, 2022.

Electricity Grid Cybersecurity: DOE Needs to Ensure Its Plans Fully Address Risks to Distribution Systems

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy, in coordination with DHS, states, and industry, should more fully address risks to the grid's distribution systems from cyberattacks—including the potential impact of such attacks—in DOE's plans to implement the national cybersecurity strategy for the grid. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

DOE agreed with our recommendation. In its response to our report, DOE stated that it has been engaged in two congressionally directed projects to better address risks to the grid's distribution systems, and that, in 2020, it issued new awards for the implementation of cybersecurity solutions on distribution systems. These efforts may help states and industry improve the cybersecurity of distribution systems, but to fully address our recommendation, DOE should more fully address risks to the grid's distribution systems from cyberattacks in its plans to implement the national cybersecurity strategy for the grid.

Electricity Grid Resilience: Climate Change Is Expected to Have Far-reaching Effects and DOE and FERC Should Take Actions

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Energy should develop and implement a department-wide strategy to coordinate its efforts that defines goals and measures progress to enhance the resilience of the electricity grid to the risks of climate change. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

DOE agreed with our recommendation. In its June 2021 management decision letter to Congressional committees, DOE stated that it developed a grid resilience strategy under its Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI)--a collaborative partnership of five DOE offices: Fossil Energy; Nuclear Energy; Electricity; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response. According to DOE, the GMI strategy, developed in December 2020, includes an all-hazards approach to characterize and implement system resilience but it does not prioritize climate change over other threats. Nevertheless, DOE noted that the current strategy will be the framework for the Secretarially-approved departmentwide strategy contemplated in our report. DOE expects to update the strategy by April 2022. To fully address our recommendation, DOE's strategy should define goals and measure progress to enhance the resilience of the electricity grid to the risks of climate change.

Electricity Grid: Opportunities Exist for DOE to Better Support Utilities in Improving Resilience to Hurricanes

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2 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should take steps to better leverage the National Laboratories' emerging grid resilience efforts and technologies by developing a formal mechanism to share this information with utilities. (Recommendation 2)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

The department concurred in principle with our recommendation. When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Energy should establish a plan, including timeframes as appropriate, to guide the agency's efforts to develop tools for resilience planning, such as performance measures for resilience, a framework for resilience planning, and additional information on the cost of long-term power outages. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

DOE agreed with our recommendation. In its response to our report, DOE stated that its Office of Electricity had recently formed an Energy Resilience Division, established a Resilience Community of Practice, and begun compiling a catalogue of existing resilience tools and models to better understand existing energy resilience planning capabilities and identify gaps. We are encouraged by DOE's efforts to identify existing resilience planning tools and potential gaps. However, we continue to believe that DOE needs to establish a plan to guide efforts to further develop and operationalize these resilience planning tools so it can support the grid resilience efforts of utilities and other stakeholders. To fully address our recommendation, DOE should establish a plan that includes time frames, as appropriate, to guide the agency's effort to develop tools for resilience planning.

Department of Energy: Improved Performance Planning Could Strengthen Technology Transfer

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy The Director of OTT should assess whether researchers at the national labs, sites, and plants have the skills necessary to effectively identify and collaborate with technology transfer partners, and should provide training to address any skill gaps. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy The Director of OTT should develop objective, quantifiable, and measurable performance goals as appropriate, and a limited number of related performance measures or milestones, to assess progress toward the objectives in its technology transfer execution plan and signal priorities. (Recommendation 2)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.