July 7, 2021

“National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Childcare Centers”

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) entered into Memoranda of Agreement with two nonprofit organizations, Bruceton Kids, Inc. and METC Kids, Inc., to provide childcare centers at its sites in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Morgantown, West Virginia.  NETL relies on both organizations to provide primary oversight and contract with independent providers to operate their sites’ childcare centers. 

We initiated this audit to determine whether the childcare centers at NETL were managed in accordance with the Crime Control Act of 1990, applicable state requirements, and the requirements set forth by the respective contracts.  The audit was conducted from August 2018 through October 2020

We reviewed childcare centers at two Department of Energy NETL sites and were unable to verify that one of the childcare centers had complied with requirements for background investigations for its employees.  Additionally, we found that neither site ensured that employees had completed state-mandated minimal hours of training as well as first aid training. 

The issues we identified occurred, in part, because childcare center employees at one site were either no longer employed or documentation was unavailable to enable us to determine whether background checks had been performed in compliance with the Crime Control Act.  The training issues occurred because officials responsible for maintaining and managing the employee training records did not provide adequate oversight.

Management concurred with the recommendations in our official draft report and stated that corrective actions had been taken to address them.  During our audit, we verified that these actions had been taken.  We therefore removed the recommendations from our final report.