DOE's Award Fees at Rocky Flats Do Not Adequately Reflect Environmental, Safety, and Health Problems

T-RCED-90-7: Published: Oct 24, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 1989.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) management of award fees to the contractor operating its Rocky Flats Plant. GAO found that: (1) despite significant environmental, safety, and health (ES&H) problems at the plant, the contractor scored well in semiannual performance evaluations and received $26.8 million in award fees between fiscal years 1986 and 1988; (2) in its award fee process, DOE downplayed ES&H problems and placed more emphasis on production than on ES&H problems; (3) DOE headquarters did not review or approve the award fee evaluations; and (4) DOE began to implement improvements in its award fee process, including having all awards reviewed by DOE headquarters and requiring that evaluations weight ES&H matters by at least 51 percent.

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