The Office of Enterprise Assessments (EA) supports the Department of Energy's (DOE) mission of ensuring America’s security and prosperity by addressing energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through its conduct of independent assessments of Departmental security and safety performance, by holding contractors accountable for violations of security and safety regulations, and by providing training programs that institutionalize security and safety lessons learned.
EA is organizationally independent of the DOE entities that develop and implement security and safety policy and programs. Therefore, EA can objectively provide information to DOE senior leadership, contractor organizations, and other stakeholders on whether the Department's national security assets are appropriately protected and Departmental operations provide for the safety of employees and the public. EA activities complement, but do not replace, the responsibility of DOE line management to ensure compliance with security and safety requirements. EA assessment activities evaluate whether the Department is effective in promoting robust protection strategies and making informed risk management decisions. EA also implements the Secretary of Energy's authorities for enforcement of contractor compliance with classified information security, nuclear safety, and worker safety and health regulations. In addition, EA operates the DOE National Training Center (NTC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to enhance the proficiency and competency of DOE federal and contractor personnel nationwide through delivery of state-of-the-art security and safety training programs.
EA STRATEGIC PRINCIPLES
EA senior leadership has identified a set of strategic principles to govern all EA operations. The strategic principles are fundamental tenets established to guide the EA organization in all aspects of its operations, improvement initiatives, infrastructure and business functions, and interfaces. Adherence to these principles is intended to enable EA not only to accomplish its missions successfully, but also to maximize EA's contribution to Departmental operations. The current EA strategic principles are to:
- Maintain an exceptionally talented management team and technical staff to drive innovations and achievement of EA and DOE mission goals. Ensure EA is comprised of world-class security and safety professionals grounded in science, engineering, and technology; led by individuals with superior program management and leadership skills; and supported by experienced resource management experts who drive innovation within EA and throughout the Department.
- Continuously collaborate with stakeholders to optimize EA contributions to the Department. Proactively communicate with DOE program office and field element managers, laboratory directors, contractor company principals, congressional committees, the Office of Management and Budget, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, and advisory groups to:
- Understand stakeholders’ activities, priorities, and issues of importance to ensure that EA activities are appropriately focused, promote mission accomplishment, and are not unnecessarily redundant or burdensome;
- Solicit and internalize input on EA's protocols, processes, priorities, and observations as a means for continuous improvement and rapport building; and
- Optimize the development of training to improve DOE staff and contractor performance capabilities and support the Federal Technical Capability Panel.
- Operate in a transparent manner. Exercise our authorities in a fair, consistent, respectful and impartial manner to build stakeholder understanding and trust in EA products and services, and promote organizational learning across the Department.
- Systematically analyze data to identify Departmental security and safety vulnerabilities and evaluate emerging trends in support of the overall DOE mission. Integrate information from multiple sources to provide senior leaders with information on the status and health of DOE security and safety programs, identify potential issues of interest to senior leadership and stakeholders, and disseminate timely information in formats (e.g., reports, briefings, advisory notes, lessons learned, training courses) that provide optimal value to line management in understanding and correcting conditions that could adversely impact mission accomplishment.
- Foster a culture of learning and continuous improvement. Share and discuss key assessment and enforcement results with line organizations and operating contractors and proactively distribute lessons learned and best practices from assessments and enforcement activities through various mechanisms, with a particular emphasis on incorporating lessons learned and best practices into the Department’s safety and security training programs managed by the National Training Center. EA leaders will also promote continuous improvement through participation in Boards, Councils, Working Groups, Committees, Panels and other internal DOE forums.
- Effectively and efficiently manage EA’s resources (budget, contracts, human resources, physical and information assets) in support of the EA mission. Develop and execute resource management strategies and organizational systems, policies and procedures to support the advancement of EA’s core missions (assessments, enforcement and training). Maintain flexibility to respond to, assess, and otherwise address emerging issues and Secretarial taskings, including addressing any training gaps.
EA FISCAL YEAR 2020 PRIORITIES
EA's current priorities are based on assessments of evolving threats and risks to the DOE mission, direction and guidance from the Office of the Secretary, and input from DOE line management and other stakeholders. The priorities are aimed at strengthening the Department’s posture and ability to protect national security assets (special nuclear material, controlled unclassified information, and classified matter), its employees and the public by:
- Conducting comprehensive independent security performance assessments and follow-up assessments at DOE national security / Category I special nuclear material sites (those with high value assets); utilizing “limited notice” safeguards and security performance tests to provide accurate, up-to-date assessments of DOE site security response capabilities; and focusing on insider threats from employees who may seek to compromise national security and/or the ability of the Department to meet its mission.
- Enhancing the methods and tools used to conduct comprehensive independent cybersecurity assessments, including unannounced “red team” performance testing, to identify vulnerabilities in the Department’s national security, intelligence, scientific, and other information systems to external and internal attacks.
- Conducting nuclear safety, worker safety and health, and emergency management independent performance assessments, and follow-up assessments of the Department’s operations, including high hazard nuclear construction projects and operations such as those at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Y-12 National Security Complex, Savannah River Site, Hanford Site, and Idaho National Laboratory, and a special Secretarially-directed radiological waste assessment.
- Improving the effectiveness of the DOE enforcement function that holds contractor organizations accountable for noncompliance with worker safety and health, nuclear safety, and classified information security regulations.
- Providing training programs and other related functions via the National Training Center that institutionalize security and safety lessons learned and best practices identified across the DOE complex, respond to emerging DOE safety/security concerns, and enhance the Department’s ability to perform effective management of safety and security.
- Building upon existing analytical practices to expand EA’s ability to identify emerging safety and security trends within the DOE complex, further strengthening EA’s contributions toward improved DOE performance.