Visualizing Relationships in Department of Energy Contracting

GAO-19-107, March 12, 2019

The Department of Energy (DOE) oversees a broad range of programs related to nuclear security, science, energy, nuclear waste cleanup, and more.

The department primarily relies on contracts to carry out these programs. Multiple companies, universities, or other entities can join together to bid on a contract (i.e., become a “party to” that contract).1

Certain contract activities can be subcontracted—which, as you can see below, can make it difficult to monitor these relationships to mitigate potential conflicts of interest when necessary.

You can examine the relationships between and among these contracts, the parties to the contract, and the subcontractors. Hover over the boxes in the graphic below to preview connections and click to select. Hover over the connections to find more details.

Take the tour below for a brief walkthrough; then explore the graphic.

Take the tour

The 24 DOE Prime Contracts in Our Review, Fiscal Year 20162
  • Parties to Prime Contracts
  • Prime Contracts
  • Subcontractors

Source: GAO analysis of DOE and contractor data. | GAO-19-107

1. We use the term "party" to mean an entity associated with a contract, including parties, affiliates, and guarantors.

2. These 24 contracts incurred the most obligations by dollar value in fiscal year 2016. We asked prime contractors to provide subcontract information within a certain set of parameters and also matched subcontracts against our list of parties’ names; there may be more matches than we could identify with this methodology. See the report for more detail on the data limitations.


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For more information, read our report, GAO-19-107.