In 1993, the Board issued Recommendation 93-3, Improving DOE Technical Capability in Defense Nuclear Facilities. This recommendation resulted in DOE's establishing the Federal Technical Capability Panel (FTCP) and developing two noteworthy standards: DOE M 426.1-1, Federal Technical Capability Manual, and DOE G 426.1-1, Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining High Quality Technical Staff: A Manager's Guide to Administrative Flexibilities. These standards provide techniques and processes for improving the recruitment, retention, training, and qualification of high-quality personnel.

Board Recommendation 93-3 was issued on June 1, 1993, and accepted by the Department of Energy on July 23, 1993. The Recommendation discussed the need to improve the technical capability of federal employees associated with defense nuclear facilities. The Department's Implementation Plan for Improving Technical Capability in Defense Nuclear Facilities Programs, and Training and Qualification, was issued on November 4, 1993. The Implementation Plan commitments represented a significant and fundamental change in the Department's training and qualification programs. Since that time, the Department has made considerable progress on several aspects of these commitments.

However, in their April 2, 1997, letter, the Board requested that the Implementation Plan be revised to reflect current Departmental initiatives, to address those actions that had not achieved the desired results, and to provide realistic milestones for open commitments. The Department convened the "Recommendation 93-3 Implementation Plan Recast Working Group" in June 1997 with the charter of developing the content and structure of the revised IP. The group met several times during 1997 and early 1998, and developed the "Revised Implementation Plan for Improving DOE Technical Capability in Defense Nuclear Facilities Programs," which was approved by the Secretary on May 5, 1998, and accepted by the Board on June 1, 1998.

The revised IP enhances current Departmental initiatives to establish the Federal Technical Capability Program (FTCP) for federal employees with safety responsibilities at defense nuclear facilities. Recognizing that corporate leadership and line management ownership are essential to the successful implementation of a corporate program to recruit develop, deploy, and retain technical capacity at defense nuclear facilities, the IP commits the Department to charter a Federal Technical Capability Panel (Panel) to oversee and resolve issues affecting the FTCP.

The objective of the Federal Technical Capability Program is to: recruit, deploy, develop, and retain federal personnel with the demonstrated technical capabilities to safely accomplish the Department's safety missions and responsibilities. The Department is determined to continue making improvements in the capabilities of the federal workforce and to fully utilize all of the tools at its disposal.