National Nuclear Security Administration: Security and Management Improvements Can Enhance Implementation of the NNSA Act Page: 3 of 15
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Madam Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
We are pleased to be here today to discuss our work on the actions the
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)-a separately organized
agency within the Department of Energy (DOE)-has taken to improve the
security and management of the nation's nuclear programs. Specifically,
my remarks are based on the report we are issuing today-National
Nuclear Security Administration: Additional Actions Needed to Improve
Management of the Nation's Nuclear Programs, which was prepared at
the request of this Subcommittee.'
During the late 1990s, DOE experienced management difficulties with its
nuclear weapons programs that contributed to security problems at the
nation's nuclear weapons laboratories and significant cost overruns on
major projects. According to a June 1999 report by the President's Foreign
Intelligence Advisory Board (the Board), DOE's management of the
nuclear weapons laboratories, while representing "science at its best," also
embodied "security at its worst" because of "organizational disarray,
managerial neglect, and ...a culture of arrogance." The Board urged the
Congress to create a new organization that, whether established as an
independent agency or a semi-autonomous entity within DOE, would have
a clear mission, streamlined bureaucracy, and drastically simplified lines
of authority and accountability. Responding to the Board's
recommendations, the Congress created the National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA) under Title 32 of the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000-the NNSA Act.2
The NNSA Act established NNSA as a "separately organized agency"
within DOE and made NNSA responsible for the management and security
of the nation's nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation, and naval
reactor programs. The NNSA Act established the position of DOE Under
Secretary for Nuclear Security, who was also designated as the
Administrator of NNSA. The Secretary of Energy and the Deputy Secretary
of Energy were allowed to establish policy for NNSA and to give direction
to NNSA through the Administrator; however, other DOE employees were
prohibited from directing the activities of individual NNSA employees.
Finally, the NNSA Act required that, among other things, NNSA develop a
2Pub. L. No. 106-65, 113 Stat. 512, 953 (1999).
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United States. Government Accountability Office. National Nuclear Security Administration: Security and Management Improvements Can Enhance Implementation of the NNSA Act, text, January 31, 2007; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292220/m1/3/: accessed March 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.