Environmental Management:

Impacts of Increases in DOE's Workforce

RCED-95-207: Published: Jul 25, 1995. Publicly Released: Aug 24, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) process for hiring new employees and improving the productivity of environmental cleanup, focusing on: (1) the process DOE used to justify the new hires; (2) whether DOE justifications support the claimed cost savings and productivity improvements; and (3) how the cost savings and productivity improvements will be achieved.

GAO found that: (1) DOE used a competitive bidding process to justify the allocation of 1,200 new positions in its field and headquarters offices; (2) the offices requested 1,575 new staff and estimated that the new staff could save over $1.2 billion dollars in fiscal years (FY) 1995 and 1996, resulting from increased federal oversight of contractors and greater federal involvement in contract management; (3) DOE lowered the 2-year savings estimate to about $890 million, not including the $84 million annually in compensation for the 1,200 new staff; (4) DOE did not adequately justify about $900 million in savings from productivity improvements; (5) although DOE is unsure of the justifications, it is reducing its Environmental Management Office's budget by about $300 million in FY 1995, before seeing if productivity improvements occur; and (6) DOE is developing procedures to measure productivity improvements and resulting cost savings the new staff are expected to achieve.

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