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DOE Order 442.1 A: Department of Energy Employee Concerns Program

Stakeholders: DOE employees

Scope: DOE Order 442.1A established the Department of Energy (DOE) Employee Concerns Program (ECP) that ensures employee concerns related to such issues as the environment, safety, health, and management of DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) programs and facilities are addressed.

Summary:

  • The Employee Concerns Program (ECP) requires:
    • Prompt identification, reporting, and resolution of employee concerns regarding DOE facilities or operations in a manner that provides the highest degree of safe operations;
    • Free and open expression of employee concerns that results in an independent, objective evaluation; and
    • Supplementation of existing processes with an independent avenue for reporting concerns.
  • In accomplishing its goals, the ECP must meet the following criteria.
    • (1) The ECP must possess interfaces with the following organizations:
      • (a) Other DOE, including NNSA and DOE contractor ECPs,
      • (b) External regulatory bodies that require employee concerns programs,
      • (c) Headquarters Office of Employee Concerns, and
      • (d) Labor organizations, where applicable.
    • (2) Establish documented program plans describing methods and processes used to implement program requirements.
    • (3) Require that DOE, including NNSA and DOE contractor employees (i.e., any person working for a DOE contractor or subcontractor on a DOE project) be informed of the following:
      • (a) ECP process;
      • (b) Employees are encouraged to first seek resolution with first-line supervisors or through existing complaint or dispute resolution systems, but that they have the right to report concerns through the DOE ECP; and
      • (c) Management’s intolerance for reprisals against or intimidation of employees who have reported concerns.
    • (4) Provide and publicize a 24-hour hot-line (e.g., voice mail or e-mail system).
  • Any concerns must be processed in one of the following manners:
    • (a) investigated or otherwise evaluated through the ECP, in coordination with DOE, including NNSA or external offices when required;
    • (b) referred to other offices or programs and tracked by the ECP until they are resolved (referral of a concern);
    • (c) transferred to another DOE or contractor organization with jurisdiction over the issues, when those issues are outside the scope of the ECP (transfer of a concern); or
    • (d) closed as prescribed in paragraph 4c.
  • ECP personnel must document employee concerns in sufficient detail to permit investigation or other appropriate levels of review.
  • At a minimum, the ECP office must prepare and maintain the following records:
    • (a) concern log; (b) concern reports; (c) concern investigation and resolution summaries, including a description of the basis for closing the concern, consistent with paragraph 4c above; (d) management assessment results, and (e) quarterly and annual reports.
  • Concerns must be tracked until closure

DOE Order 442.1 A