The Board has been reviewing the Department of Energy's (DOE) current oversight and management of the contracts and contractors it relies upon to accomplish the mission assigned to DOE under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. We will focus on what impact, if any, DOE's new initiatives may have upon assuring adequate protection of the health and safety of the public and workers at DOE's defense nuclear facilities. The second and third public meetings will collect information needed to understand and address any health or safety concerns that may require Board action. This will include, but is not limited to, presentations by DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to explain their contract management and oversight initiatives; presentations by Federal and industry experts in Federal contracting for essential and high risk government services; and possibly further presentations by Board staff.
The Board has identified several key areas that will be better examined in public meetings. For example, during the October 21st meeting, DOE and NNSA will discuss their new approaches which increase DOE's and NNSA's reliance upon contractor self-assessment programs while decreasing Federal oversight. During the October 23rd meeting, the Board will hear from representatives from the aerospace industry. The information gathered at that time will explore Federal contract management and oversight experience and will provide relevant reference experience.
In subsequent public meetings, the Board will explore in more depth the field application of Federal management and oversight policies being developed by DOE and NNSA for defense nuclear facilities. The public hearing portions are independently authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 2286b.