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Audit Report: Department of Energy's Controls over Recovery Act Spending at the Idaho National Laboratory

The Department of Energy's (Department) Office of Environmental Management (EM) oversees two major contracts for cleaning up the legacy contamination at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The 7 year, $2.9 billion contract with CH2M♦WG Idaho, LLC (CWI), was established in 2005, for a wide range of INL clean-up functions and is scheduled to end September 30, 2012. Under this contract, CWI was entitled to incentive fees if it completed work for less than target costs. The second contract, valued at $843 million, was with Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC (Bechtel) to operate the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project and is scheduled to end in Fiscal Year 2011.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), the Department provided CWI with $422.75 million and Bechtel with $22.5 million to accelerate the INL cleanup effort. CWI's funds were for, among other things, accelerating the deactivation and decommissioning (D&D) of nuclear and radiological facilities, retrieving and processing remote handled transuranic waste, and waste exhumation at the Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA). Bechtel's funds were for accelerating the treatment, shipment, and disposal of transuranic and mixed low-level waste. EM planned to complete its INL Recovery Act work by September 30, 2011.

Because of the significance of this Recovery Act work and the plan to accelerate cleanup operations, we initiated this audit to determine if the Department efficiently and effectively managed Recovery Act funded projects under the CWI and Bechtel contracts.