In 2009, DOE competitively awarded Ameresco Federal Solutions, Inc. a fixed-price renewable Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain and fuel a new biomass facility at SRS for 20-years. Under ESPCs, private companies finance, install, and maintain new energy and water-efficient equipment in federal facilities, with no up-front funding or extra costs incurred by the government or taxpayers.
The Office of Environmental Management (EM) is responsible for environmental restoration, waste management, technology development, and facility transition and management. EM oversees an annual budget of approximately $6 billion dollars. Over 90 percent of EM’s budget is contracted out to industry. With such a significant portion awarded to contractors each year, achieving excellence in the Department’s management of contracts is our objective. The EM Office of Acquisition and Contract Management, working closely with EM sites, supports execution of the EM mission by overseeing the award and execution of contracts that complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy brought about from five decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research at sites throughout the United States striving to reduce risk and complete cleanup across all sites for the generations to come.
We take our responsibility for ensuring we receive the intended results from our contracts at a good price for the taxpayer seriously. We have engaged outside experts to review our processes and make suggestions on how we can better serve the taxpayer and make the best use of the resources that we have been given to meet the mission of EM and the Department of Energy as a whole. One example of such a review is the National Academy of Public Administration study Managing America’s Defense Nuclear Waste. The results of internal and external reviews have informed our efforts to reform how we do business. Therefore, we are implementing a strategy to improve the Department’s management of contracts and major capital acquisition projects.
EM activities are being conducted through more than 40 prime contracts having a total value of over $90 billion and annual expenditures of nearly $5 billion. Awards are generally made to teams of individual companies that in turn procure equipment and services from numerous subcontractors. Both large and small businesses help us deliver quality facilities, projects, and services that meet the DOE mission and help ensure a safe and secure environment at legacy DOE sites for generations to come.
EM has distinguished itself as a leader within DOE in identifying and awarding small business set-aside contracts. For the two year period of FY 2010 and FY 2011, EM activities purchased a total of $1.1 billion directly from small businesses. Our support of small businesses continues in FY 2012, with a small business goal of 5 percent of projected purchases, which is roughly $250 million. Note that this may vary if the prime contract awards fluctuate during the year.
One of the major focuses of the EM Federal workforce is to carry out an effective and efficient process for acquiring services for construction, deactivation and decommissioning, waste management, and environmental cleanup. EM created the EM Acquisition Center to provide a centralized focus on the major procurements that are required for EM to fulfill its mission. The EMAC provides an integrated business system that supports operations and field offices in the planning, procurement and managing of major EM acquisitions. The EMAC along with representatives from the sites, develop and implement site and project specific acquisition and contract strategies, including award of major contracts. This is achieved with collaboration with the DOE Office of Procurement and Assistance Management. Upon award, contracts are administered by the operations and site offices.
All EM procurement offices execute their acquisition and oversight responsibilities through a standardized process with a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities; more focused contracting resources and expertise, clear expectations, and uniform guidance throughout the EM Program. EM continues to focus on reducing the time required to conduct major procurements through improved planning, integration, communication, tracking, and by having the necessary resources and expertise available when required.