TABLE E.1 Approximate Annual Fee Structures (in millions of dollars)

Laboratory Fixed Fee Maximum Incentive Fee
SNL 16 9-10
LANL 22 52
LLNL 12.5 29.5

Most (≥90 percent) of the incentive fee is awarded when a laboratory successfully executes tasks specified in its annual PEP so that the amount of incentive fee that is really “in play” in any evaluation process is in reality a few million dollars (out of a total annual laboratory budget in excess of $1 billion).

All three contracts state that science and engineering are major parts of what the laboratories do. The LLNL contract is perhaps most explicit in this regard, the SNL contract least so. The following excerpt from the LLNL contract also appears verbatim in the LANL contract (but with a different identifying number):


(a) The Parties recognize the importance of fostering an atmosphere at the Laboratory conducive to scientific inquiry and the development of new knowledge and creative and innovative ideas related to important national interests.

(b) The Parties further recognize that the free exchange of ideas among scientists and engineers at the Laboratory and colleagues at universities, colleges, and other laboratories or scientific facilities is vital to the success of the scientific, engineering, and technical work performed by Laboratory personnel.

(c) In order to further the goals of the Laboratory and the national interest, it is agreed by the Parties that the scientific and engineering personnel at the Laboratory shall be accorded the rights of publication or other dissemination of research, and participation in open debate and in scientific, educational, or professional meetings or conferences, subject to the limitations included in technology transfer agreements and such other limitations as may be required by the terms of this Contract. Nothing in this clause is intended to alter the obligations of the Parties to protect classified or unclassified controlled nuclear information as provided by law.

(d) Nothing in the Section I clause entitled “DEAR 952.204-75 Public Affairs” is intended to limit the rights of the Contractor or its employees to publicize and to accurately state the results of its scientific research.

The LLNL SOW states (emphasis added):

2.0 Laboratory Mission and Scope of Work.

The Contractor shall manage, operate, protect, sustain and enhance the Laboratory’s ability to function as a NNSA Multi-Program Laboratory, while assuring accomplishment of the Laboratory’s primary mission - strengthening the United States’ security through development and application of world-class science and technology to enhance the nation’s defense and to reduce the global threat from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

To some degree, these, and similar statements are “boilerplate” in that they have no specific obligations attached to them. However, they are indicators of what the orientation of the laboratory is expected to be. Indeed, Section H-13 of the LLNL contract says more pragmatically:


2 See Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 Modification No. 241 for Sections B-H of the LLNL contract, available at

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