December 23, 2021

Summary of Findings on Audits of Selected Department of Energy Childcare Centers

The Department of Energy offers childcare services to various employees, facility users, and long-term onsite subcontractors.  The centers are expected to adhere to all applicable laws, regulations, codes, and licensing requirements, including the Crime Control Act of 1990Given that Federal agencies are planning their reopening after COVID-19, centers may also be reopening after being closed for a significant time.  Since we identified issues in the prior childcare center audits, and with the potential reopening of centers after COVID-19, we are issuing this special report to provide a summary of findings and provide recommendations to assist in ensuring compliance with background checks, training, and contract terms at all Department centers.  We found issues related to background checks, training requirements, and/or contract terms at centers located at four different Department locations: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; Argonne National Laboratory; and National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Overall, these issues occurred primarily due to confusion by the contractors managing the centers as to whether the Crime Control Act of 1990 background check requirements and other contract requirements were applicable to them.  Also, officials were not providing adequate oversight to ensure adherence to training requirements.  To address the issues identified in this report, the Office of Inspector General has made three recommendations.  Management agreed with our findings and recommendations, and its proposed corrective actions are consistent with our recommendations.