23 Matching Results

Search Results

Advanced search parameters have been applied.

INFORMATION: Special Report on "Management Challenges at the Department of Energy"

Description: Responsible for some of the Nation's most important and technically advanced missions, the Department of Energy faces an array of challenges that are more wide-ranging and complex than at any time in its history. While its origins can be largely traced to the Manhattan Project, the Department has evolved into a multi-faceted agency that encompasses a broad range of scientific, environmental, and national security activities. Since its creation under the Department of Energy Organization Act in 1977, the Department has shifted its emphasis and priorities over time as the energy and security needs of the Nation have changed. The Department has recently refocused these efforts, adding particular emphasis on the science and renewable energy components of its portfolio. In this regard, the Department has taken a lead role in the implementation and execution of the energy technology initiatives related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). As a means of accomplishing these initiatives, the Department received a substantial increase in its annual appropriation, rising from nearly $25 billion in 2008 to approximately $34 billion in 2009 as a result of additional funding in the Department's loan program and numerous science, energy, and national security initiatives. In addition, the Department was provided more than $36 billion in Recovery Act funding to be used over a two to three year period. Further, the Department, through existing authorities and those expanded by the Recovery Act, has been authorized to provide more than $100 billion in loan guarantees for innovative, clean energy technologies. To accomplish its vital missions, the Department employs approximately 115,000 Federal and contractor personnel and manages assets valued at more than $189 billion, including the 17 national laboratories at the heart of its science program. On an annual basis, the Office of Inspector General is required to ...
Date: December 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

INFORMATION: Special Report on "Selected Department of Energy Program Efforts to Implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act"

Description: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was enacted on February 17, 2009, to jumpstart the economy by creating or saving millions of jobs, spurring technological advances in health and science, and investing in the Nation's energy future. The Department of Energy received over $32.7 billion in Recovery Act funding for various science, energy, and environmental programs and initiatives. As of November 2009, the Department had obligated $18.3 billion of the Recovery Act funding, but only $1.4 billion had been spent. The Department's Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy, Environmental Management, Science, and Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability received the majority of funding allocated to the Department, about $32.3 billion. Obligating these funds by the end of Fiscal Year 2010, as required by the Recovery Act, and overseeing their effective use in succeeding years, represents a massive workload increase for the Department's programs. The effort to date has strained existing resources. As has been widely acknowledged, any effort to disburse massive additional funding and to expeditiously initiate and complete projects increases the risk of fraud, waste and abuse. It is, therefore, important for the Department's program offices to assess and mitigate these risks to the maximum extent practicable. In this light, we initiated this review as an initial step in the Office of Inspector General's charge to determine whether the Department's major program offices had developed an effective approach for identifying and mitigating risks related to achieving the goals and objectives of the Recovery Act. The Department's program offices included in our review identified risks and planned mitigation strategies that, if successfully implemented and executed, should help achieve the goals and objectives of the Recovery Act. While each office identified risks unique to its respective areas of responsibility, there were a number of risks ...
Date: December 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inspection Report on "Employment Verification at Savannah River Site"

Description: We conducted a review at the Savannah River Site to determine if Site subcontractors verified the employment status of all employees in accordance with Federal requirements and, if unauthorized individuals accessed the site. During our field work, we reviewed 600 I-9 Forms from 21 subcontractors to verify whether Site subcontractors were using the I-9 Forms; and if the forms were accurate and complete. We also conducted a judgmental sample of individuals who accessed the Site during a six-month period to determine if there were any documentation anomalies.
Date: November 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inspection Report on "Internal Controls over Accountable Classified Removable Electronic Media at Oak Ridge National Laboratory"

Description: The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducts cutting edge scientific research. ORNL utilizes removable electronic media, such as computer hard drives, compact disks, data tapes, etc., to store vast amounts of classified information. Incidents involving breakdowns in controls over classified removable electronic media have been a continuous challenge for the Department. The loss of even one piece of such media can have serious national security implications. In 2004, the Department had a complex-wide 'stand-down' of all activities using classified removable electronic media, and such media containing Secret/Restricted Data or higher classified data was designated 'Accountable Classified Removable Electronic Media' (ACREM). As part of the stand-down, sites were required to conduct a 100 percent physical inventory of all ACREM; enter it all into accountability; and conduct security procedure reviews and training. Further, the Department implemented a series of controls, including conducting periodic inventories, utilizing tamper proof devices on ACREM safes, and appointing trained custodians to be responsible for the material. After performance testing and validation that the required accountability systems were in place, ACREM operations at ORNL were approved for restart on August 10, 2004. We conducted a review at ORNL and associated facilities to determine whether ACREM is managed, protected, and controlled consistent with applicable requirements. We found that: (1) Eight pieces of Secret/Restricted Data media had not been identified as ACREM and placed into a system of accountability. Consequently, the items were not subject to all required protections and controls, such as periodic accountability inventories, oversight by a trained custodian, or storage in a designated ACREM safe. (However, the items were secured in safes approved for classified material.) (2) Other required ACREM protections and controls were not implemented as follows: a tamper indicating device was not being used on an ACREM safe; records documenting when a ...
Date: May 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inspector General Semiannual Report to Congress - October 1, 2008 - March 31, 2009

Description: On behalf of the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General, I am pleased to submit our Semiannual Report to Congress for the period ending March 31, 2009. The Report highlights key accomplishments of the Office of Inspector General, particularly pertaining to our efforts to ensure the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of Department of Energy operations. Details pertaining to some of our most significant reviews and projects are presented in the Report. This reporting period has been quite eventful. On February 17, 2009, the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The stated intent of this new legislation is to strengthen the U.S. economy through the creation of new jobs, aiding State and local governments with budget shortfalls, cutting taxes for working families, and investing in the long-term health of the Nation's economic prosperity. The Recovery Act establishes the status of the Nation's energy supply as a prime focus. Specifically, the Department of Energy will receive approximately $40 billion for various energy, environmental, and science programs and initiatives. The passage of this legislation makes the coming months an exciting and transformative time for the Department of Energy and the Office of Inspector General. In recognition of the need for effective oversight to protect taxpayer interests, the Recovery Act includes the creation of the Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board and mandates specific actions by the Inspectors General. I will be a permanent member of this newly created Board, along with nine other Inspectors General whose agencies are significant recipients of Recovery Act funds. Since the passage of the legislation, my office has developed a strategy consistent with the objectives outlined in the Recovery Act. The overarching goal of the strategy is to ensure that the taxpayers interests relating to the performance and results of the Recovery Act ...
Date: October 1, 2008
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

INFORMATION: Management Alert on the Department's Monitoring of the Weatherization Assistance Program in the State of Illinois

Description: Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program received $5 billion to improve the energy efficiency of homes owned or occupied by low income persons, reduce their total residential expenditures, and improve their health and safety. Since the Recovery Act was enacted in February 2009, the Department has awarded weatherization grants to every state, the District of Columbia and five territories. Because of the unprecedented level of funding and the risks associated with spending vast amounts of money in a relatively short period of time, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated a series of audits designed to evaluate the Program's internal control structures at both the Federal and state levels. As part of our work, we are in the process of reviewing Weatherization Program internal controls for the State of Illinois. We are also currently performing identical audits in the States of North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Under the Recovery Act and the Department's Program, the State of Illinois received $242 million to weatherize 26,933 homes. The State of Illinois awarded these funds to 35 local agencies responsible for determining recipients' eligibility, contracting for the installation of the weatherization work, and conducting final inspections to ensure that work on homes was done in accordance with requirements. Inspectors working for the local agencies are required to evaluate the quality of mechanical and architectural improvements, such as furnace installations and window caulking, and certify that the work performed meets established standards. Under a Department approved plan in place at the time of our review, state officials were required to evaluate the sufficiency of local agency monitoring controls and to inspect the work performed on at least five percent of the units weatherized with Department funds during the program year for each ...
Date: December 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

INFORMATION: Management Alert on Environmental Management's Select Strategy for Disposition of Savannah River Site Depleted Uranium Oxides

Description: The Administration and the Congress, through policy statements and passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), have signaled that they hope that proactive actions by agency Inspectors General will help ensure that Federal Recovery Act activities are transparent, effective and efficient. In that context, the purpose of this management alert is to share with you concerns that have been raised to the Office of Inspector General regarding the planned disposition of the Savannah River Site's (SRS) inventory of Depleted Uranium (DU) oxides. This inventory, generated as a by-product of the nuclear weapons production process and amounting to approximately 15,600 drums of DU oxides, has been stored at SRS for decades. A Department source we deem reliable and credible recently came to the Office of Inspector General expressing concern that imminent actions are planned that may not provide for the most cost effective disposition of these materials. During April 2009, the Department chose to use funds provided under the Recovery Act to accelerate final disposition of the SRS inventory of DU oxides. After coordination with State of Utah regulators, elected officials and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department initiated a campaign to ship the material to a facility operated by EnergySolutions in Clive, Utah. Although one shipment of a portion of the material has already been sent to the EnergySolutions facility, the majority of the product remains at SRS. As had been planned, both for the shipment already made and those planned in the near term, the EnergySolutions facility was to have been the final disposal location for the material. Recently, a member of Congress and various Utah State officials raised questions regarding the radioactive and other constituents present in the DU oxides to be disposed of at the Clive, Utah, facility. These concerns revolved ...
Date: April 1, 2010
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation Report on "The Department's Unclassified Cyber Security Program"

Description: Industry experts report that security challenges and threats are continually evolving as malicious activity has become more web-based and attackers are able to rapidly adapt their attack methods. In addition, the number of data breaches continues to rise. In an effort to mitigate and address threats and protect valuable information, the Department of Energy anticipated spending about $275 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 to implement cyber security measures necessary to protect its information technology resources. These systems and data are designed to support the Department's mission and business lines of energy security, nuclear security, scientific discovery and innovation, and environmental responsibility. The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) provides direction to agencies on the management and oversight of information security risks, including design and implementation of controls to protect Federal information and systems. As required by FISMA, the Office of Inspector General conducts an annual independent evaluation to determine whether the Department's unclassified cyber security program adequately protects its information systems and data. This memorandum and the attached report present the results of our evaluation for FY 2009. The Department continued to make incremental improvements in its unclassified cyber security program. Our evaluation disclosed that most sites had taken action to address weaknesses previously identified in our FY 2008 evaluation report. They improved certification and accreditation of systems; strengthened configuration management of networks and systems; performed independent assessments; and, developed and/or refined certain policies and procedures. In addition, the Department instituted a centralized incident response organization designed to eliminate duplicative efforts throughout the Department. As we have noted in previous reports, the Department continued to maintain strong network perimeter defenses against malicious intruders and other externals threats. These are positive accomplishments. However, in our judgment, additional action is required to further enhance the Department's unclassified cyber security ...
Date: October 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preliminary Audit Report on "Management Controls over the Commonwealth of Virginia's Efforts to Implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Weatherization Assistance Program"

Description: The Department of Energy's (Department) Weatherization Assistance Program received $5 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) to improve the energy efficiency of homes, multi-family rental units and mobile homes owned or occupied by low-income persons. Subsequently, the Department awarded a three-year Weatherization Assistance Program grant for $94 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia). This grant provided more than a ten-fold increase in funds available to Virginia for weatherization over that authorized in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. Corresponding to the increase in funding, the Recovery Act increased the limit on the average amount spent to weatherize a home (unit) from $2,500 to $6,500. Virginia's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the Recovery Act grant through 22 local community action agencies. These agencies (sub-grantees) are responsible for determining applicant eligibility, weatherizing homes, and conducting home assessments and inspections. Typical weatherization services include installing insulation; sealing ducts; tuning and repairing furnaces; and, mitigating heat loss through windows, doors and other infiltration points. Virginia plans to use its Recovery Act Weatherization funding to weatherize about 9,193 units over the life of the grant - a significant increase over the 1,475 housing units that were planned to be completed in FY 2009. Given the significant increase in funding and the demands associated with weatherizing thousands of homes, we initiated this audit to determine if Virginia had adequate safeguards in place to ensure that the Weatherization Program was managed efficiently and effectively. The State of Virginia's DHCD had not implemented financial and reporting controls needed to ensure Weatherization Program funds are spent effectively and efficiently. Specifically, DHCD had not: (1) Performed on-site financial monitoring of any of its sub-grantees under the Recovery Act; (2) Reviewed documentation supporting sub-grantee requests for reimbursements to verify the accuracy of amounts ...
Date: May 1, 2010
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Special Report on the "Department of Energy's Efforts to Meet Accountability and Performance Reporting Objectives of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act"

Description: The purpose of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was to jumpstart the U.S. economy, create or save millions of jobs, spur technological advances in health and science, and invest in the Nation's energy future. The Department of Energy will receive an unprecedented $38 billion in Recovery Act funding to support a variety of science, energy, and environmental initiatives. The Recovery Act requires transparency and accountability over these funds. To this end, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance requiring the Department to compile and report a wide variety of funding, accounting, and performance information. The Department plans to leverage existing information systems to develop accounting and performance information that will be used by program managers and ultimately reported to Recovery.gov, the government-wide source of Recovery Act information, and to OMB. The Department's iManage iPortal, a system that aggregates information from a number of corporate systems, will serve as the main reporting gateway for accounting information. In addition, the Department plans to implement a methodology or system that will permit it to monitor information reported directly to OMB by prime funding recipients. Furthermore, performance measures or metrics that outline expected outcomes are being developed, with results ultimately to be reported in a recently developed Department-wide system. Because of the significance of funds provided and their importance to strengthening the Nation's economy, we initiated this review to determine whether the Department had taken the steps necessary to ensure that Recovery Act funds can be appropriately tracked and are transparent to the public, and whether the benefits of the expenditures can be properly measured and reported clearly, accurately, and in a timely manner. Although not yet fully mature, we found that the Department's efforts to develop, refine, and apply the control structure needed to ensure accurate, ...
Date: September 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Special Report on "Allegations of Conflict of Interest Regarding Licensing of PROTECT by Argonne National Laboratory"

Description: In February 2009, the Office of Inspector General received a letter from Congressman Mark Steven Kirk of Illinois, which included constituent allegations that an exclusive technology licensing agreement by Argonne National Laboratory was tainted by inadequate competition, conflicts of interest, and other improprieties. The technology in question was for the Program for Response Options and Technology Enhancements for Chemical/Biological Terrorism, commonly referred to as PROTECT. Because of the importance of the Department of Energy's technology transfer program, especially as implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act matures, we reviewed selected aspects of the licensing process for PROTECT to determine whether the allegations had merit. In summary, under the facts developed during our review, it was understandable that interested parties concluded that there was a conflict of interest in this matter and that Argonne may have provided the successful licensee with an unfair advantage. In part, this was consistent with aspects of the complaint from Congressman Kirk's constituent.
Date: August 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Special Report on Review of "The Department of Energy's Quality Assurance Process for Prime Recipients' Reporting for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act"

Description: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was established to jumpstart the U.S. economy, create or save millions of jobs, spur technological advances in health and science, and invest in the Nation's energy future. The Department of Energy (Department) will receive an unprecedented $37 billion in Recovery Act funding to support a variety of science, energy, and environmental initiatives. The majority of the funding received by the Department will be allocated to various recipients through grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and other financial instruments. To ensure transparency and accountability, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires that recipients report on their receipt and use of Recovery Act funds on a quarterly basis to FederalReporting.gov. OMB also specifies that Federal agencies should develop and implement formal procedures to help ensure the quality of recipient reported information. Data that must be reported by recipients includes total funding received; funds expended or obligated; projects or activities for which funds were obligated or expended; and the number of jobs created and/or retained. OMB requires that Federal agencies perform limited data quality reviews of recipient data to identify material omissions and/or significant reporting errors and notify the recipients of the need to make appropriate and timely changes to erroneous reports. As part of a larger audit of recipient Recovery Act reporting and performance measurement and in support of a Government-wide review sponsored by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, we completed an interim review to determine whether the Department had established a process to ensure the quality and accuracy of recipient reports. Our review revealed that the Department had developed a quality assurance process to facilitate the quarterly reviews of recipient data. The process included procedures to compare existing information from the Department's financial information systems with that reported to FederalReporting.gov by ...
Date: October 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "The Office of Science's Management of Information Technology Resources"

Description: The Department of Energy's Office of Science (Science) and its facility contractors are aggressive users of information technology (IT) to support fundamental research in areas such as energy, environmental remediation and computational sciences. Of its $4 billion Fiscal Year 2008 budget, Science spent about $287 million to manage its IT program. This included cyber security activities, acquisition of hardware and software, and support service costs used to maintain the operating environments necessary to support the missions of the program. Prior Office of Inspector General reports have identified various issues with Science's management of its IT programs and resources. For instance, our report on Facility Contractor Acquisition and Management of Information Technology Hardware (DOE/IG-0768, June 2007) noted that the Science sites reviewed spent more than necessary when acquiring IT hardware. In another example, our review of The Department's Efforts to Implement Common Information Technology Services at Headquarters (DOE/IG-0763, March 2007) disclosed that Science's reluctance to adopt the Department of Energy Common Operating Environment (DOE-COE) at Headquarters contributed to the Department's inability to fully realize potential cost savings through consolidation and economies of scale. In light of the magnitude of the Office of Science IT program and previously identified program weaknesses, we initiated this audit to determine whether Science adequately managed its IT resources. Science had taken a number of actions to improve its cyber security posture and align its program to Federal requirements. Yet, our review disclosed that it had not taken some basic steps to enhance security and reduce costs. In particular, we found that: (1) For their non-scientific computing environments, all seven of the field sites reviewed (two Federal, five contractor) had implemented security configurations that were less stringent than those included in the Federal Desktop Core Configuration. This configuration was designed by the National Institute of Standards and ...
Date: November 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "Waste Processing and Recovery Act Acceleration Efforts for Contact-Handled Transuranic Waste at the Hanford Site"

Description: The Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management's (EM), Richland Operations Office (Richland), is responsible for disposing of the Hanford Site's (Hanford) transuranic (TRU) waste, including nearly 12,000 cubic meters of radioactive contact-handled TRU wastes. Prior to disposing of this waste at the Department's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), Richland must certify that it meets WIPP's waste acceptance criteria. To be certified, the waste must be characterized, screened for prohibited items, treated (if necessary) and placed into a satisfactory disposal container. In a February 2008 amendment to an existing Record of Decision (Decision), the Department announced its plan to ship up to 8,764 cubic meters of contact-handled TRU waste from Hanford and other waste generator sites to the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) at Idaho's National Laboratory (INL) for processing and certification prior to disposal at WIPP. The Department decided to maximize the use of the AMWTP's automated waste processing capabilities to compact and, thereby, reduce the volume of contact-handled TRU waste. Compaction reduces the number of shipments and permits WIPP to more efficiently use its limited TRU waste disposal capacity. The Decision noted that the use of AMWTP would avoid the time and expense of establishing a processing capability at other sites. In May 2009, EM allocated $229 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) funds to support Hanford's Solid Waste Program, including Hanford's contact-handled TRU waste. Besides providing jobs, these funds were intended to accelerate cleanup in the short term. We initiated this audit to determine whether the Department was effectively using Recovery Act funds to accelerate processing of Hanford's contact-handled TRU waste. Relying on the availability of Recovery Act funds, the Department changed course and approved an alternative plan that could increase costs by about $25 million by processing Hanford TRU-waste on-site ...
Date: May 1, 2010
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "Work for Others Performed by the Department of Energy for the Department of Defense"

Description: Pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Economy Act of 1932, the Department of Energy and its semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) provide research and technical assistance to other Federal agencies on a reimbursable, full cost recovery basis through the Work for Others (WFO) program. For the vast majority of WFO technical projects, Department Federal officials furnish administrative project oversight while the actual detailed scientific or technical work is completed by the Department's 'management and operating' contractors. These contractors are awarded a special contract type specifically created under the Federal Acquisition Regulation to manage and operate Department sites and facilities, including sophisticated laboratories and technical centers, on a government-owned, contractor-operated basis. With annual expenditures exceeding $1 billion, the Department of Defense (DoD) is one of the Department's largest WFO customers. Work performed for DoD at the Department's national laboratories and other facilities includes highly technical research in areas such as nuclear weapons systems, counter-terrorism, and in-theater troop support. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, required the Inspectors General of the DoD and the Department to review procurement methods to determine whether the Department complied with DoD procurement requirements and/or whether alternative procurement policies were in place. In response, we focused our review on projects performed by NNSA because it completes the vast majority (approximately $900 million in FY 2008) of the Department's work for DoD. As part of this effort, and, at the specific request of the DoD Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG), we identified the universe of WFO technical projects that received new funding in the fourth quarter of FY 2008 at NNSA sites. We independently reviewed a judgmental sample of 11 projects selected by the DoD OIG to meet the objectives of this audit. Our review revealed ...
Date: October 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "Management Controls over the Department of Energy's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - Louisiana State Energy Program"

Description: The Department of Energy's (Department) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides grants to states, territories and the District of Columbia (states) to support their energy priorities through the State Energy Program (SEP). Federal funding is based on a grant formula that considers the population and energy consumption in each state, and amounted to $25 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) expanded the SEP by authorizing an additional $3.1 billion to states using the existing grant formula. EERE made grant awards to states after reviewing plans that summarize the activities states will undertake to achieve SEP Recovery Act objectives, including preserving and creating jobs; saving energy; increasing renewable energy sources; and, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. EERE program guidance emphasizes that states are responsible for administering SEP within each state, and requires each state to implement internal controls over the use of Recovery Act funds. The State of Louisiana received $71.6 million in SEP Recovery Act funds; a 164-fold increase over its FY 2009 SEP grant of $437,000. As part of the Office of Inspector General's strategy for reviewing the Department's implementation of the Recovery Act, we initiated this review to determine whether the Louisiana State Energy Office had internal controls in place to efficiently and effectively administer Recovery Act funds provided for its SEP program. Louisiana developed a strategy for SEP Recovery Act funding that focused on improving energy efficiency in state buildings, housing and small businesses; increasing Energy Star appliance rebates; and, expanding the use of alternative fuels and renewable energy. Due to a statewide hiring freeze, Louisiana outsourced management of the majority of its projects ($63.3 million) to one general contractor. Louisiana plans to internally manage one project, Education and Outreach ($2.6 million). The remaining funds ...
Date: May 1, 2010
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "Management Controls over the Department's Excess Weapons Inventories and Selected Sensitive Equipment used by Protective Forces"

Description: Since September 11, 2001, the Department of Energy has, on several occasions, revised its security posture based on identified threats and adversaries. These revisions in security posture have driven Departmental sites to upgrade their defensive and tactical equipment. Subsequent changes in the perceived threats have, in some cases, led to a reduction in the need for certain types of weapons, thus creating a pool of surplus equipment. These surplus weapons could potentially be used by other Department sites and Federal law enforcement agencies. Recent Office of Inspector General reports have raised concerns with the adequacy of controls related to defensive and tactical equipment. For example, our report on Management Controls Over Defense Related High Risk Property (OAS-M-08-06, April 2008) found that administrative controls over certain defense related high risk property were not sufficient for providing accountability over these items. Because of prior reported weaknesses in controls over defensive and tactical equipment, we initiated this audit to determine whether the Department and its contractors were properly managing excess weapons inventories and selected sensitive equipment used by protective forces. Our review disclosed that the Department was not always properly managing its inventories of excess weapons and selected sensitive equipment. We identified issues with the retention of unneeded weapons at many locations and with the identification and tracking of sensitive items. More specifically: Sites maintained large inventories of weapons that were no longer needed but had not been made available for use by either other Departmental sites or other Federal law enforcement agencies. For instance, at six of the locations included in our review we identified a total of 2,635 unneeded weapons with a total acquisition value of over $2.8 million that had not been officially declared as excess - an action that would have made them available for others to use. In ...
Date: January 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "Protection of the Department of Energy's Unclassified Sensitive Electronic Information"

Description: The Department of Energy and its contractors store and process massive quantities of sensitive information to accomplish national security, energy, science, and environmental missions. Sensitive unclassified data, such as personally identifiable information (PII), official use only, and unclassified controlled nuclear information require special handling and protection to prevent misuse of the information for inappropriate purposes. Industry experts have reported that more than 203 million personal privacy records have been lost or stolen over the past three years, including information maintained by corporations, educational institutions, and Federal agencies. The loss of personal and other sensitive information can result in substantial financial harm, embarrassment, and inconvenience to individuals and organizations. Therefore, strong protective measures, including data encryption, help protect against the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information. Prior reports involving the loss of sensitive information have highlighted weaknesses in the Department's ability to protect sensitive data. Our report on Security Over Personally Identifiable Information (DOE/IG-0771, July 2007) disclosed that the Department had not fully implemented all measures recommended by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and required by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to protect PII, including failures to identify and encrypt PII maintained on information systems. Similarly, the Government Accountability Office recently reported that the Department had not yet installed encryption technology to protect sensitive data on the vast majority of laptop computers and handheld devices. Because of the potential for harm, we initiated this audit to determine whether the Department and its contractors adequately safeguarded sensitive electronic information. The Department had taken a number of steps to improve protection of PII. Our review, however, identified opportunities to strengthen the protection of all types of sensitive unclassified electronic information and reduce the risk that such data could fall into the hands of individuals with malicious intent. In particular, ...
Date: August 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "The Department of Energy's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- Florida State Energy Program"

Description: The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides grants to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to support their energy priorities through the State Energy Program (SEP). The SEP provides Federal financial assistance to carry out energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that meet each state's unique energy needs while also addressing national goals such as energy security. Federal funding is based on a grant formula that takes into account population and energy consumption. The SEP emphasizes the state's role as the decision maker and administrator for the program. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) expanded the SEP, authorizing $3.1 billion in grants. Based on existing grant formulas and after reviewing state-level plans, EERE made awards to states. The State of Florida's Energy Office (Florida) was allocated $126 million - a 90-fold increase over Florida's average annual SEP grant of $1.4 million. Per the Recovery Act, this funding must be obligated by September 30, 2010, and spent by April 30, 2012. As of March 10, 2010, Florida had expended $13.2 million of the SEP Recovery Act funds. Florida planned to use its grant funds to undertake activities that would preserve and create jobs; save energy; increase renewable energy sources; and, reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To accomplish Recovery Act objectives, states could either fund new or expand existing projects. As a condition of the awards, EERE required states to develop and implement sound internal controls over the use of Recovery Act funds. Based on the significant increase in funding from the Recovery Act, we initiated this review to determine whether Florida had internal controls in place to provide assurance that the goals of the SEP and Recovery Act will be met and accomplished efficiently and effectively. We identified weaknesses in the ...
Date: June 1, 2010
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "The Department of Energy's Opportunity for Energy Savings Through Improved Management of Facility Lighting"

Description: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) highlighted the importance of reducing the Nation's dependence on foreign oil and conserving scarce energy resources. The Department of Energy, as the designated lead agency for promoting new technologies, providing leadership for energy conservation and helping Federal agencies reduce energy costs, plays a pivotal role in achieving the Recovery Act's energy related goals. The Department spends nearly $300 million per year in energy costs for its 9,000 buildings at 24 sites. Electricity costs, totaling $190 million, account for close to two-thirds of the Department's total energy expenditures, with roughly 40 percent or $76 million of those costs attributable to the cost of lighting. New lighting technologies and advanced lighting systems offer the Department the opportunity to significantly reduce energy consumption; decrease operating costs at its sites throughout the country; and, demonstrate the benefits of using new lighting technologies that are currently being developed in its laboratories and by other sources. Because of its energy conservation leadership role, we initiated this audit to determine whether the Department's facilities had implemented lighting conservation measures.
Date: June 1, 2010
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "The Department of Energy's Opportunity for Energy Savings Through the Use of Setbacks in its Facilities"

Description: Our testing at Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration facilities revealed that the Department either did not use or failed to properly maintain setback systems and equipment in a number of instances. At just the four sites we visited, the Department had not ensured that setback conservation methods were used for 35 of the 55 (approximately 64 percent) owned or leased buildings included in our review. The buildings that did not use setbacks capabilities to control energy consumption comprised over one million square feet of space. Specifically: Although in place or capable of being deployed, officials did not utilize setbacks in 20 separate buildings; and, Equipment in 15 other buildings had either never been enabled or had deteriorated and was no longer functional, thus making setbacks impossible. Typical of the problems we noted, the Y-12 National Security Complex recently leased two buildings that were constructed with setback capability. The property manager for these buildings told us that the setback equipment was not used because the owner of the properties had not purchased the software necessary to enable the capability. In another case, we learned that Los Alamos National Laboratory was not using the setback capability in two buildings because facility operators and tenants had not been trained on operating the setback control system. Finally, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory lost the ability to operate the setback equipment in two buildings when the electronic control system failed in 2008. Laboratory officials told us that they elected not to replace it because they planned to implement campus-wide energy conservation measures in the future. In spite of its energy conservation leadership role, we found that the Department and its facility contractors did not place adequate emphasis on reducing energy consumption through the application of setbacks. Of particular significance, we found that ...
Date: July 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "The Department's Management of Nuclear Materials Provided to Domestic Licensees"

Description: The objective if to determine whether the Department of Energy (Department) was adequately managing its nuclear materials provided to domestic licensees. The audit was performed from February 2007 to September 2008 at Department Headquarters in Washington, DC, and Germantown, MD; the Oak Ridge Office and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN. In addition, we visited or obtained data from 40 different non-Departmental facilities in various states. To accomplish the audit objective, we: (1) Reviewed Departmental and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements for the control and accountability of nuclear materials; (2) Analyzed a Nuclear Materials Management and Safeguards System (NMMSS) report with ending inventory balances for Department-owned nuclear materials dated September 30, 2007, to determine the amount and types of nuclear materials located at non-Department domestic facilities; (3) Held discussions with Department and NRC personnel that used NMMSS information to determine their roles and responsibilities related to the control and accountability over nuclear materials; (4) Selected a judgmental sample of 40 non-Department domestic facilities; (5) Met with licensee officials and sent confirmations to determine whether their actual inventories of Department-owned nuclear materials were consistent with inventories reported in the NMMSS; and, (6) Analyzed historical information related to the 2004 NMMSS inventory rebaselining initiative to determine the quantity of Department-owned nuclear materials that were written off from the domestic licensees inventory balances. This performance audit was conducted in accordance with generally accepted Government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objective. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. The audit included tests of controls and compliance with laws and regulations related to ...
Date: February 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit Report on "The Department's Management of the ENERGY STAR Program"

Description: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) authorized about $300 million in consumer rebate incentives for purchases of products rated under the 'ENERGY STAR' Program. ENERGY STAR, a voluntary labeling program established in 1992, provides consumers with energy efficiency data for a range of products so that they can make informed purchase judgments. The overall goal of the program is to encourage consumers to choose energy efficient products, advancing the nationwide goal of reducing energy consumption. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) managed the ENERGY STAR Program on a stand-alone basis until 1996 when it joined forces with the Department of Energy (Department). A Memorandum of Cooperation expanded the ENERGY STAR product categories, giving the Department responsibility for overseeing eight product categories such as windows, dishwashers, clothes washers, and refrigerators, while EPA retained responsibility for electronic product categories and heating, ventilating, and cooling equipment. Each agency is responsible for setting product efficiency specifications for those items under its control and for ensuring the proper use of the ENERGY STAR label in the marketplace. In August 2007, the EPA Office of Inspector General issued an audit report identifying significant control weaknesses in EPA's management of ENERGY STAR. The Department, concerned by the findings at EPA and eager to improve its own program, developed an approach to verify adherence to product specifications, ensure proper use of the ENERGY STAR label in the marketplace, and improve the establishment of product specifications. As evidenced by the commitment of $300 million in Recovery Act funds, the ENERGY STAR Program plays an important role in the U.S. efforts to reduce energy consumption. We initiated this audit to determine whether the Department had implemented the actions it announced in 2007 to strengthen the Program. The Department had not implemented planned improvements in the ENERGY STAR Program. ...
Date: October 1, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department