Today, the Office of the General Counsel issued guidance on the federal prohibition against contractors performing inherently governmental functions. The guidance sets out the basic rules for what contactors can and cannot do and provides best practices for federal DOE employees when using contractor services. Since 2009, the General Counsel’s office has made available on its websitenon-priv
The Department of Energy today announced two immediate steps to implement the Obama Administration's Executive Order on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, which directs federal agencies to review existing regulations and determine whether they are still necessary and crafted effectively to solve current problems.
Yesterday, the Department of Energy’s Office of Enforcement issued a subpoena to Richard Graham of Long Beach, California seeking water efficiency information and sales records for the “Super Power Shower” in response to a complaint that it violates federal water conservation standards. The Super Power Shower is sold by Mr.
Today, the DOE General Counsel’s Office is launching a new Smart Gird web portal. In October, the General Counsel’s office released two reports exploring technological and legal issues critical for the continued development of the Smart Grid. Drawing upon significant public participation, the reports recommended several next steps to assist utilities and other stakeholders in the rollout of Smart Grid technologies and applications. One of these recommendations was to provide a public portal for information on a variety of issues, including data access and privacy, priority of service, w
Today, the Department of Energy issued enforcement guidance on the application of recently granted waivers for large-capacity clothes washers and announced steps to improve the waiver process – and refrain from certain enforcement actions – so that innovative covered products can demonstrate compliance with DOE efficiency requirements and come to market without undue delays. Based on comments received in response to DOE’s
Today, the Department of Energy issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend its regulations governing compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposals focus primarily on the Department’s categorical exclusion provisions, and reflect the first update to these provisions in thirteen years. The Department sought public input earlier this year to assist in the preparation of the current proposals.
The Department of Energy announced today that it has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) to enable the Department’s lab and facility management and operation (M&O) contractors to employ the CBCA for mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution services. Earlier this year, the Department clarified that M&O contractors are permitted to include binding arbitration clauses in their contracts with others, and, indeed, that arbitration may often be a desirable alternative to litigation where disputes
Because of the role wireless technologies will play in the evolution toward a smarter national grid, one of the recommendations in DOE’s report, The Communications Requirements of Smart Grid Technologies, was that members of the utility sector become more engaged in the federal advisory committees that provide input on key policy issues related to the Smart Grid, including spectrum management and network reliability issues. Last week, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Adm