NRC's Use of Consultants, Contractors, and the National Laboratories

EMD-79-37: Published: Mar 7, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 8, 1979.

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A study examined the procedures used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for acquiring and using assistance and expertise from outside consultants, and the use by NRC of the Department of Energy's (DOE) laboratories. NRC spends more than one-half of its budget for the acquisition of outside goods and services. About 86 percent of the expenditures are for research and technical assistance acquired from the NRC laboratories, and the remaining expenditures are generally for goods and services obtained from contractors and for work performed by consultants.

The review of these practices disclosed a number of areas of concern. Controls over work placements with the DOE laboratories were not adequate for ensuring that NRC acquires the best goods and services at the most reasonable costs. Justifications for awarding certain contracts on a noncompetitive basis were inadequate, and certain aspects of contract administration by NRC, such as contract monitoring and timely closeouts of completed contracts, appeared weak. Justifications for hiring consultants were incomplete, and controls over payments for their services were not adequate.

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