4

Findings and Recommendations

This study was begun with no preconceived opinions regarding the technical, economic, or budgetary validity of any of the DOE projects that are potential candidates for independent review. The purpose of the study is to identify construction and large operating projects that should be considered for independent review and to specify the scope of those reviews. However, in order to understand how independent project reviews might satisfy the needs of Congress, it is necessary to take into account the diversity of DOE's projects.

DOE construction projects can be divided into four general categories: basic energy and science research (including weapons); environmental restoration (of sites and buildings); waste management and processing; and site infrastructure. With the general exception of site infrastructure, all of these projects entail some measure of uncertainty (in some cases very high levels of uncertainty) regarding the availability and/or workability of the necessary technologies at full operational scale. Nevertheless, even though cost estimates and schedules would naturally tend to drift under these conditions, radical deviations from approved baselines should not become the norm.

The overall purpose of an independent assessment process should be to determine, by a nonproponent body or individual, whether the scope of projects, the underlying assumptions regarding technology and management, the cost and schedule baselines, and contingency provisions are valid and credible within the budgetary and administrative constraints under which DOE must function. Throughout this report, the key factors that have contributed to poor performance by DOE have been noted. The overall findings of this study are summarized below.

FINDINGS

Finding 1. Evidence is well documented that DOE projects have experienced cost growth and schedule slippages in the past and that some projects continue to experience difficulties in maintaining approved baselines.

DOE has constructed and managed large scale, often one-of-a-kind facilities to fulfill its mission and objectives. Given the many unknowns and complications related to DOE's mission, funding, management, and organizational structure, difficulties with defining the scope of projects, delays, and cost overruns should come as no surprise. However, complexities and



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 27 4 Findings and Recommendations This study was begun with no preconceived opinions regarding the technical, economic, or budgetary validity of any of the DOE projects that are potential candidates for independent review. The purpose of the study is to identify construction and large operating projects that should be considered for independent review and to specify the scope of those reviews. However, in order to understand how independent project reviews might satisfy the needs of Congress, it is necessary to take into account the diversity of DOE's projects. DOE construction projects can be divided into four general categories: basic energy and science research (including weapons); environmental restoration (of sites and buildings); waste management and processing; and site infrastructure. With the general exception of site infrastructure, all of these projects entail some measure of uncertainty (in some cases very high levels of uncertainty) regarding the availability and/or workability of the necessary technologies at full operational scale. Nevertheless, even though cost estimates and schedules would naturally tend to drift under these conditions, radical deviations from approved baselines should not become the norm. The overall purpose of an independent assessment process should be to determine, by a nonproponent body or individual, whether the scope of projects, the underlying assumptions regarding technology and management, the cost and schedule baselines, and contingency provisions are valid and credible within the budgetary and administrative constraints under which DOE must function. Throughout this report, the key factors that have contributed to poor performance by DOE have been noted. The overall findings of this study are summarized below. FINDINGS Finding 1. Evidence is well documented that DOE projects have experienced cost growth and schedule slippages in the past and that some projects continue to experience difficulties in maintaining approved baselines. DOE has constructed and managed large scale, often one-of-a-kind facilities to fulfill its mission and objectives. Given the many unknowns and complications related to DOE's mission, funding, management, and organizational structure, difficulties with defining the scope of projects, delays, and cost overruns should come use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. as no surprise. However, complexities and

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 28 uncertainties should not be used as excuses for inadequate project planning, management, and oversight. Although DOE has developed sound project guidance, the potential benefits of this guidance have not been fully realized because much of it is not mandated by DOE Headquarters, and, consequently, the guidance is not always used by the field offices. Finding 2. The problems at DOE are more institutional than technical. Although independent and external reviews are warranted in certain cases, they will not automatically solve the problems. A single round of independent reviews or even a series of them is not the sole answer to achieving comprehensive process improvement. The system should be amended to foster continuous and permanent improvement. DOE upper management recognizes the lack of credibility in its budget estimates and appears to be committed to solving the problem. By virtue of placing greater emphasis on program/project management, developing procedural direction and a clear approach to the proper use of contingencies in project budgets, and formalizing the review process, the credibility of project baselines (measured against project performance) should improve. Field units also expressed a commitment to improving the process and stressed that notable improvements have been made in the recent past. Interviews with field personnel and the material reviewed for this report substantiated that opinion, although there is room for further improvement. Considering the size of the organization and the large contractor population, changes will not occur overnight. But improvements have been made and will probably continue to be made, provided that the leadership remains committed to that goal. Finding 3. Many projects, especially in the area of environmental management, are initiated too long before a credible baseline has been developed. A study by IPA found that a lack of good project definition at the front-end has had a major adverse effect on cost and schedule performance. This finding confirmed the findings in other studies. The proper application of contingencies in the cost estimate could help to mitigate some of the risk involved in developing baselines for environmental management projects, especially when the proposed technology is still evolving. Independent reviews performed early in the process (i.e., at the conceptual stage) can be very helpful for identifying and evaluating alternative approaches so that the project scope, and hence the baseline, is well defined and less subject to change as the project matures. Finding 4. There are definite benefits to be had from subjecting all projects to some form of assessment by someone other than the project proponent. However, not all projects require an independent, external review. use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 29 DOE subjects its projects to various types and degrees of reviews by a variety of DOE personnel from horizontal and vertical echelons, management and operating/integrating contractors, independent contractors and experts, and other governmental organizations. As projects approach the budgetary stage, the reviews becomes more rigorous. Although DOE has developed comprehensive practice guides for the design and construction phases of a project, the department has not developed comparable guidance for the early conceptual and preconceptual phases of projects when there is a high potential for substantial savings in both cost and time. Although all projects should be subject to some form and intensity of nonproponent review, not all projects should be subject to an independent external review. Some small projects and projects that are comparable in complexity to projects in the civil construction industry would not gain much from in-depth reviews. In these cases, a standard value engineering review would probably be sufficient. Independent cost estimates can account for any biases in an internal estimate and are likely to be more accurate than the internal cost estimate. However, within a range of accuracy, any two estimators can be expected to come to different estimated values for the same work. The validity of cost estimates can best be determined by competitive market forces. Finding 5. The independent assessment by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of DOE's environmental restoration projects during 1996–1997 proved to be very beneficial for refining the baselines and cost estimates. The USACE assessment did not reveal significant savings in direct construction costs but did find discrepancies in the items that were added to the TEC to make up the TPC. These items include overhead, plant equipment, research and development, and operating costs. Finding 6. DOE has distinct program areas, each of which may warrant a different approach to project management, baseline development, and independent review. Assigning all reviews to a singular external institution may not be the most effective course of action. Based on its experience with environmental restoration and waste management projects for DOE and the Department of the Army, USACE has established a unique body of knowledge that can be beneficial to DOE. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command and the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence also have capabilities in related areas. Finding 7. Costs for DOE construction “inside the fence” will probably be higher than costs for similar work done on the outside in the private sector. use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 30 At DOE sites and laboratories, the operating cost of the DOE staff and management and operating contractors, stringent security requirements, investigative and preparatory costs, complicated and sometimes duplicative regulations, and the inherent deficiencies of operating in a somewhat noncompetitive environment all contribute to the higher costs of “inside the fence” construction. RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation 1. DOE should use screening criteria to identify projects that should be subject to independent review. The first step in the approved Statement of Task for this report is to develop a decision framework for determining the need for independent reviews of DOE projects. This charge has been addressed by identifying criteria that could be used by DOE to screen projects or groups of projects for independent review. In practice, application of the proposed criteria will vary with the type and size of the specific project, and, ultimately, DOE must exercise judgment in selecting projects for review. The screening criteria are designed to provide guidance to DOE, not to prescribe a course of action. This report recommends a “graded approach.” In other words, the resources expended to improve performance should be commensurate with the benefits obtained. The previous discussion of the factors underlying the concerns expressed in the Conference Report and the nature of the DOE project mix suggest what the screening criteria should be, i.e., project characteristics that suggest that either their credibility or performance (or both) could be enhanced through review by a nonproponent body. For example, DOE has traditionally experienced difficulty maintaining cost and schedule baselines with certain types of projects (e.g., the restoration of sites of the nuclear weapons complex) and has little or no history with others (e.g., privatization). In addition, some projects are so large in scope, cost, or complexity (e.g., the National Ignition Facility) that simple prudence dictates that a full, rigorous review be done before significant funds are committed and that reviews be done periodically during the execution phase of the project. By the same reasoning, there would seem to be little benefit to subjecting all projects to an independent review regardless of their magnitude and complexity, previous history, or stage of development. Therefore, for the initial screening of all projects that have not had an independent review, the following criterion should be used: • All projects with a total estimated cost (TEC) of more than $20 million should be considered for review. use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 31 For projects whose TEC is less than $20 million but more than $5 million, the following criteria should apply: • projects that propose delivery methods with which DOE has little or no experience (e.g., privatization of waste management) • projects for which new technology is proposed or the technology requires significant research and development to increase confidence that it will be workable at field scale • projects that are not obviously or strongly supported by the mission objectives in DOE's Strategic Plan • projects that have had significant cost or schedule overruns or that have a high potential for such overruns • projects managed by an area operations office that has a history of project overruns, failures, or terminations The $20 million threshold was selected for two reasons. First, it is the value currently applied by the Office of Energy Research to identify projects for scientific peer review. Second, DOE Good Practice Guide 10, Project Execution and Engineering Management Planning, (DOE, 1996a) suggests $10 million as a threshold value to distinguish between high intensity and low intensity reviews. In the absence of compelling logic that suggests a different amount, the recommended threshold of $20 million appears to be a reasonable basis for initiating an independent review process that will not overload the system with reviews and possibly cause delays to necessary projects. Once this initial round of independent project reviews is completed, the number to be undertaken in future years may decrease as DOE gains experience with the process and applies the lessons learned in the preconceptual and conceptual phases of newly emerging projects. The five secondary criteria are proposed to capture projects with TECs below $20 million with characteristics that present the highest risk to maintaining cost and schedule baselines. General plant projects (with TECs of less than $5 million) should not generally be reviewed unless the scope of the project indicates a high level of uncertainty regarding cost or schedule. Recommendation 2. Independent reviews of DOE projects should evaluate all relevant technical, economic, and management factors used to justify the project and develop its scope. The Conference Report specifies the appropriate contents of an independent project review, i.e., technical scope, cost estimates, schedules, and supporting data. Little can be added to this list beyond a caveat that assessments should not be reduced to checklists. Although the level of detail and the amount of use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 32 effort invested in a review of a small utility or administrative building should not be comparable to the detail and effort of a review of a multibillion dollar research facility, the assessment process should be sufficiently detailed and rigorous to permit an objective, nonadvocate of the project to reach a supportable conclusion regarding (1) its relationship to the mission of the sponsoring DOE program element, and (2) whether the proposed project (and its acquisition strategy) represents a technically valid, cost-effective, realistic means of accomplishing its stated objectives. In order for the review process to be useful for both quality assurance and as a decision-making tool, reviews should be augmented in two ways. First, assessments should contain a finding of whether, in the judgment of the reviewer(s), the project can be delivered within the cost and schedule baselines established by DOE or whether alternative solutions may be preferable. Second, in the event that this finding is negative or if there are other significant differences between the results of the independent review and the original project documentation, DOE must make a timely disposition of the findings. Disposition of the findings of the independent review is essential to improve the quality of DOE's baselines and increase confidence in the projects themselves. Recommendation 3. DOE should chose as independent reviewers organizations or individuals that have the appropriate technical capability, are objective and detached from the project under review, and do not have other conflicts of interest or agenda. The organization or individual performing the independent review should have, or have available, the requisite capabilities to address the technical disciplines involved (e.g., civil, environmental, and nuclear engineering; high energy physics, and energy research), as well as systems and performance analysis, project management, and cost estimating. Selection of the appropriate mix and depth of expertise will depend on the nature of the project and the particular problems anticipated. The subcommittee originally intended that USACE conduct all reviews of DOE construction and operationally-funded projects. With its long experience with construction and contracting, USACE could be a reasonable choice. However, the broad range of skills described above are not all organic to USACE. Although there are some similarities between the review of a major research facility and the review of a site-based infrastructure renewal program, there are many more differences, and a single organization, public or private, is not likely to have all of the skills necessary to review both types of projects. The approach used by other organizations that routinely conduct independent assessments may be useful to DOE in resolving this dilemma. Earlier in this report, the experiences of four organizations (DoD, NASA, The World Bank, and DOE) with independent project assessments were briefly described. Although the independent review processes of all four organizations use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 33 are essentially private, in-house matters, they all recognize that specialized technical expertise that is not resident within the organization is often required. NASA and The World Bank review teams are comprised of nonproponent members of the organization and outside technical consultants, as required. DoD's CAIG reviews make use of ad hoc members specially appointed by the CAIG chair. DOE's peer review process for evaluating proposed research facilities makes extensive use of volunteers from throughout DOE, the national laboratories, and the broader scientific community. Numerous other examples can be cited, including “Tiger Team” reviews of specific issues addressed by DOE and other agencies and panels and committees appointed by the NRC and other independent bodies at the request of a government agency or by direction of Congress. Underlying all of these reviews and supporting their credibility is the combination of the technical competence of the reviewers and their independence from the proponent chain of the subject project or program. NASA's reviews are done by ad hoc teams managed by the Langley Research Center under the direction of the NASA chief engineer. The World Bank has a Quality Assurance Group to conduct reviews. Both organizations require that members of a review team not be associated with the project under review; at the same time they take great pains to ensure that reviewers have first-rate technical capabilities. The reviews undertaken by USACE at the request of the DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management to assess the site baselines (costs, scope, and schedules) of remediation and waste management projects were described earlier. USACE used a combination of internal, DOE, and contract personnel under the direction of a USACE project manager to conduct reviews of individual projects. Experience suggests that, as long as the reviewing body is truly independent, whoever is chosen to conduct the review may be less critical than the protocols under which the review is conducted. The key capabilities of the reviewer appear to be technical capability, objective detachment from the project under review, and the absence of other conflicts of interest or agenda. The value of these reviews will only be realized by an organization committed to continuous improvement and with a management structure that can act on the results. It is not important whether the review is conducted by a specially constituted peer review group or a private contractor; whether it is managed by an outside entity, such as the Corps of Engineers, another federal agency, or the NRC; or whether it is performed by a DOE organizational element outside the proponent chain, such as the Office of Field Management. Regardless of who actually conducts and manages the assessment, procedures must be put in place at the highest levels of DOE to incorporate the results into the decision-making process to foster continuous quality improvement and accountability. Recommendation 4. DOE should conduct independent external reviews of a number of projects included in the FY98 budget request. use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 34 The line item construction projects in the FY98 DOE budget request were analyzed In accordance with the criteria specified in Recommendation 1 and a judgment made to identify which ones warrant further independent external review. A few projects that were identified as line items in the budget but were funded from operational programs were also reviewed. Although there are a great many line item projects, only those with the greatest potential to realize the cost savings that would warrant the time and money required for a review are recommended for a review. Projects that did not warrant an independent review because they were relatively small, or were at a stage in the cycle when changes could not be implemented efficiently, were excluded. In the environmental restoration category, which is a large part of DOE's budget, only a few projects are construction-funded, capital assets. The others are operations-funded programs, which do not identify discrete projects and the associated costs. It was not possible to analyze environmental restoration projects the way construction-funded projects were analyzed because the environmental restoration process does not fit well under the definition of a capital asset. In these cases, the greatest benefits of external review would be gained from reviewing the system solution proposed for an entire site. It may be judicious for DOE to continue its agreement with USACE for reviewing environmental management projects and to use the Phase 2 study approach for reviewing environmental projects that are still in the conceptual phase. Environmental restoration at a particular site or group of sites requires integrating numerous distinct activities, which must necessarily remain somewhat fluid to adjust to changes in the situation as they are revealed. To retain some control and to document progress, DOE may want to divide a environmental restoration program into distinguishable units or categories that can be monitored more easily. Candidate Projects Recommended for Independent Review The recommended screening criteria were applied to 118 ongoing and proposed projects identified in the FY98 appropriation request. Of the 118 projects, 32 are recommended for independent assessment based on complexity, scope, cost, or status. Following this listing, recommendations are made regarding the type of review and appropriate reviewers are presented. 98-D-125 Tritium Extractor Facility, SRS Design and demonstrate the feasibility of extracting and purifying tritium from irradiated rods in a commercial light-water reactor. use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 35 98-D-126 Accelerator Production of Tritium, Various Locations Design and demonstrate the feasibility of producing tritium using an operational accelerator plant. 98-D-453 Plutonium Stabilization and Handling Facility for the Plutonium Finishing Plant, RL Design and construct the facilities at the Plutonium Finishing Plant to meet plutonium storage standards using a standardized package. 97-D-102 Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Facility, LANL Design and construct a 38,200 square foot laboratory facility housing sophisticated x-ray, electronic, and optical machinery. 97-D-122 Nuclear Materials Storage Facility Renovation, LANL Renovate a 30,400 square foot building completed in 1987 that did not meet standards, including standards for safety and security. 97-D-402 Tank Farm Restoration and Safe Operation, RL Restore to acceptable design basis the tank farm instrumentation, ventilation, transfer mechanisms, and electrical systems that would support waste disposal privatization. 97-D-470 Environmental Monitoring Laboratory, SRS Design and construct a 54,000 square foot facility that meets current environmental, health, and safety standards replacing existing 40+ year old facilities. 96-D-103 Atlas, LANL Design and construct a facility for enhanced pulsed power experimental capability to support stockpile stewardship. 96-D-104 Processing and Environmental Technology Laboratory, SNL Construct a new building to accommodate various laboratory functions to meet the latest environmental, safety and health requirements. 96-D-111 National Ignition Facility, LNL1 Design and demonstrate experimental inertial confinement fusion to achieve controlled thermonuclear fusion in the laboratory. use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. 1The scientific and technical basis for the National Ignition Facility have been reviewed by the National Research Council (NRC, 1997c). The proposed independent assessment would focus on the assumptions underlying the cost and schedule baselines.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 36 95-D-102 Chemical and Metallurgy Research Upgrades Project, LANL Replace 40+ year old electrical and mechanical equipment in a 550,000 square foot building. 93-D-187 High-Level Waste Removal from Filled Waste Tanks, SRS Design and construct the facilities needed for the removal of waste from tanks. 98-G-304 Neutrinos at the Main Injector, Fermi Lab Design and construct a new experimental facility to study the properties of neutrons using a high flux beam housed in a tunnel. 96-G-300 Combustion Research Facility, SNL Add approximately 32,300 square feet to an existing facility to provide more laboratory space and two facility laser laboratories. CDR2Stockpile Management Restructuring Initiative, KCP Alter and reduce the infrastructure of the existing plant, and change the operational approach. CDR Capability Maintenance and Improvements Project, LANL Improve and maintain the infrastructure for processing, manufacturing, and waste management associated with the production of plutonium pits. CDR Nuclear Material Safeguards and Security Upgrades, LANL Provide additional safeguards and improve existing security systems associated with the production of plutonium pits. CDR Tank Farm Support Services, F & H Areas, SRS Replace deteriorated existing direct-buried service piping of various utility services with new below grade trench pipelines or above ground piping systems. CDR National Spallation Neutron Source, ORNL Provide an accelerator six times more powerful than the ones currently available worldwide to expand research capability in several sciences. CDR Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility, Various Locations Provide a facility to disassemble surplus plutonium pits and convert the plutonium to an oxide suitable for (1) disposition by immobilization or (2) fabrication into fuel for burning in reactors. use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. 2Projects noted as CDR are in the conceptual design stage and are included per direction in the Conference Report.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 37 Privatization of Defense Environmental Management Projects The following environmental remediation projects are slated to be competitively bid as either fixed price contracts or unit price contracts with payment to be made to the contractor on successful completion: • Hanford Tank Waste Treatment, RL • Contact Handled Transuranic Waste Transportation, Carlsbad, New Mexico • Low Activity Waste Treatment Project, INEL • Power Burst Facilities Deactivation, INEL • Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage, INEL • Environmental Management/Waste Management Disposal, ORNL • Transuranic Solid Waste Treatment, ORNL • Waste Pits Remedial Action, FEMP • Silo 3 Residue Waste Treatment, FEMP • Decommission Building 886, Rocky Flats, Colorado • Decommission Building 779, Rocky Flats, Colorado • Spent Nuclear Transfer and Storage, SRS Recommendations for Specific Projects Of the preceding projects, peer review teams would be most appropriate for 98-D-125, 98-D-126, 97- D-102, , 96-D-103, 96-D-111, 98-G-304, and the National Spallation Neutron Source project. These projects, which have research or materials production missions, should be reviewed by peer groups specifically constituted to address the scientific assumptions underlying their design, construction, and operation. This process would be similar to the peer review process currently used by DOE in the energy and science areas but should be augmented to incorporate more nonproponent parties. The reviews should pay special attention to technical scope, alternatives, costs, and schedules. The other projects identified as CDR projects, which are primarily for waste management and weapons fabrication, and projects included in the privatization of defense environmental management should be subjected to peer review by specifically constituted external teams with expertise in these technical areas. Projects 98- D-453, 97-D-122, 97-D-470, 96-D-104, 95-D-102, 93-D-187 and 96-G-300, which are buildings and facilities, could be reviewed by organizations experienced in the design and construction of similar facilities, such as USACE, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, or private contractors. Although the project manager has both line management accountability and the resources and knowledge to advance specific recommendations, a culture use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.

OCR for page 27
About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 38 supporting truly independent review (and the benefits to be derived therefrom) may not exist at the project level. Therefore, in implementing the independent reviews recommended in this report, the efficacy of the review, the type and scope of the review, and the body to conduct the review should be determined by a designated nonproponent element within DOE in consultation with the project manager. The establishment and tasks of the review body, as well as the disposition of review recommendations, should flow through higher levels of DOE and should not be under the sole direction of the project manager. In the longer term, DOE should formalize a process for conducting independent reviews (and applying the results) to all programs within the organization. Ultimately, however, DOE must be responsible and accountable for the successful management of its programs. Success is affected more by culture, attitude, and organizational commitment to quality and service than by procedures. Therefore, adjustments by the upper management of DOE to the recommendations made in this report can, and should, be expected. use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution.