November 28, 2000

Management Challenges at the Department of Energy

On October 12, 2000, the Chairmen of several committees of the U.S. Congress requested an assessment by the Office of Inspector General of the most significant management challenges facing the Department of Energy. We have received similar requests annually since 1997. As in the past, our response to this year's inquiry parallels the Department's reporting under the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act. The Office of Inspector General has a significant role in the Integrity Act process, which has traditionally resulted in an effective depiction of long-standing, institution-wide problems facing the Department of Energy. This special report constitutes our response to the congressional inquiry. The analysis is focused on those Department challenges that, in our view, warrant increased emphasis or appear to have reached a heightened level of urgency. Throughout our discussion, we have highlighted issues of concern relative to the newly formed National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The Office of Inspector General is devoting considerable time and resources to evaluating various aspects of the NNSA's complex mission and operations.