In recent years, there has been concern about security and operations management at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LANL and LLNL). As a result, Congress directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to hold open competitions for the management and operations (M&O) contracts for both LANL and LLNL. The quality of the scientific programs, however, did not appear to be a factor in that action, and the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) wanted to ensure that the contract competitions preserve the high-quality science and engineering currently being performed at the labs. It asked the NRC to recommend how best the NNSA can create meaningful qualification and selection discriminators to help ensure world-class scientific quality is maintained in programs and activities at LANL and LLNL. This report presents those recommendations along with other important factors that should be considered in developing the request for proposals for the upcoming contract competition.