TABLE C.1 Examples of Potential for Overlap in Responsibilities and Corresponding Duties Between Headquarters, Operations Offices, and Site/Area Offices

Major Responsibilities Selected Duties
Headquarters Defense Programs


Help formulate and apply corporate policy for support functions

*Interpret ES&H policies and ensure programs apply

Operations Office


Serve as contracting officer for M&O contract

*Integrate and coordinate funding, program direction, functional policy direction, and guidance from multiple DOE offices and non-DOE customers


*Review and approve facility safety framework


*Consider site-wide institutional issues, health of contractual relationship

Execute programs on behalf of DOE program offices

*Develop performance measures and performance expectations for determining


*Coordinate and approve HQ’s work authorization


Provide planning input and support budget formulation and execution


*Provide matrix technical support to programs (and area offices), including ES&H and business operations

Area Office


Ensure compliance with ES&H orders

*Provide program direction and oversight for nuclear facility safety


*Maintain operational oversight awareness and perform independent management oversight of DOE facilities through Facility Representative program


*Conduct performance-based assessments of ES&H, safeguards and security

SOURCE: Adapted from Richanbach et al. (1997), Table I-2.

The IDA study concluded that although there was agreement that providing oversight and guidance is headquarters’ responsibility and program execution should be done by the field, the difference between the two major responsibilities or on the specific tasks that should be delineated to one and not the other is not clearly articulated.

The chains of command existing in the laboratory management structure are also ill-defined. The IDA Task Force found that the reporting chain of command parallels the chains of command for programmatic requirements; environmental, safety, and health activities; and administrative practices. Each of these management processes has their own formal as well as informal chains of command (where offices receive direction from another office outside of its formal chain.) These chains of command are ill-defined, creating confusing lines of authority and accountability within the management structure, and fostering an environment where poorly established boundaries and redundant regulations are the norm.

The 1999 Chiles Commission and the 2000 Foster Panel observed similar confusing chains of command, emphasizing that parallel chains created “day-to-day frustration among those in the field

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