National Academies Press: OpenBook

Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges (2015)

Chapter: Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories

« Previous: Appendix D: Evolving Mission of the NNSA Laboratories
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories." National Research Council. 2015. Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19326.
×

E

A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories

The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) national laboratories have long served agencies and missions other than DOE’s. The laboratories’ broad mandate is implicit in the name “national laboratories;” that is, they serve the national interests in a variety of ways and for a variety of partners. It is not surprising, therefore, that there is a long history of recommendations for laboratory governance that differ from the current model, which vests all governance in DOE. The following are the most relevant examples for this governance study. Full references to the reports are given in Appendix C.

THE GALVIN REPORT (1995)

The Galvin Report, Task Force on Alternative Futures for the Department of Energy National Laboratories, looked at all DOE laboratories and recommended a “corporatized” approach to laboratories governance. The recommended structure would have DOE as the government sponsor of the corporation that would be “governed” by a board of trustees, appointed by the President, consisting principally of distinguished scientists, engineers, and private sector executives. The board would select a chief executive officer and other principal officers of the corporation, and each laboratory would have an advisory board elected by the parent board. Funding would flow directly to the corporation from Congress, not via DOE, which would be a customer of the corporation.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories." National Research Council. 2015. Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19326.
×

The corporatized model suggested by the Galvin Report makes clear that while DOE would be the laboratories’ sponsor, strategic partnership for them would be vested in the board, which would be composed of people outside DOE. The Galvin task force acknowledged it may not be appropriate to have the weapons laboratories be part of this corporatized approach, but it left the issue unresolved.

DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD (2006)

The 2006 Defense Science Board study Report of the Defense Science Board on Nuclear Capabilities examined the issue of governance of the NNSA laboratories in some detail and weighed a variety of alternatives. It concluded that the current DOE/NNSA model does not (and cannot) work, nor is it appropriate to have DOD run the weapons laboratories for a variety of reasons. It recommended a government corporation (the National Nuclear Weapons Agency) overseen by a board of directors chaired by the Secretary of Defense and consisting of the Secretaries of Energy and Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence.

This proposal clearly gives the other agencies a seat at the governance table and puts the Secretary of Defense, not the Secretary of Energy, at the head of the table.

DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD (2008)

The 2008 Defense Science Board study Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Nuclear Deterrence Skills did not focus on governance issues, but some of its recommendations called on DOE (or NNSA) to work with other cabinet agencies (principally DOD and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ODNI) on governance-related issues. The issues are largely related to the strategic partnership of the laboratories; that is, assessing human capital needs and strategies in the laboratories and how to sustain fundamental nuclear capabilities and competencies.

The Defense Science Board did not call on the other agencies to provide funding for these activities or to assume them, but rather to collaborate to assess what was needed so that DOE as sponsor, and the Congress as funder, could do what was needed. This is a clear example of how strategic partnership complements the sponsor’s responsibilities.

STRATEGIC POSTURE COMMISSION (2009)

The 2009 report of the Strategic Posture Commission, America’s Strategic Posture, recommended establishing NNSA as an independent agency

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories." National Research Council. 2015. Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19326.
×

reporting to the President through a board of directors composed of the Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence. A presidential executive order would make this board responsible “for the programmatic and budgetary health of the laboratories.” The Commission further recommended that the board approve NNSA’s strategic plan and provide comments on its budget proposals before they are submitted to the Office of Management and Budget.

This is another shared governance model for the laboratories that involves the laboratories as principal clients/partners in the model. It also makes clear that the President would be the sponsor for the new agency, and the board would be its stewards.

STIMSON CENTER TASK FORCE (2009)

The 2009 Stimson Center study, Leveraging Science for Security, assessed the current governance model and concluded it was not working. The study recommended creating an independent agency to replace NNSA overseen by a board of directors consisting of the Vice President, Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and the head of the new agency. The laboratories and the Nevada Test Site (now known as Nevada National Security Site) would be part of this new structure. This is another example of the sponsor being the President with a board of directors providing strategic partnership to the laboratories as part of the overall organization.

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (2012)

In its 2012 report, Managing for High-Quality Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories, the National Research Council (NRC) examined the framework for managing science and engineering research at the laboratories and provided an analysis of the relationships among the several players in the management of the laboratories—the NNSA, the site offices (now called field offices), the contractors, and the laboratory managers—and the effect of that relationship on the laboratories’ ability to carry out science and engineering research. The NRC stated that there is “an erosion of trust between NNSA and its National Security Laboratories to an extent that very seriously affects the labs’ capability to manage for quality S&E.” It recommended “rebalancing the managerial and governance relationship to build in a higher level of trust in program execution and laboratory operations in general.”

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories." National Research Council. 2015. Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19326.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (2013)

The 2013 National Academy of Public Administration report Positioning DOE’s Labs for the Future: A Review of DOE’s Management and Oversight of the National Laboratories concluded that the laboratories need a government-wide strategic approach to meet their responsibilities to serve the national security agencies and supported the work of the Mission Executive Council interagency group.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories." National Research Council. 2015. Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19326.
×
Page 63
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories." National Research Council. 2015. Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19326.
×
Page 64
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories." National Research Council. 2015. Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19326.
×
Page 65
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: A Brief History of Proposals for Shared Governance of the Department of Energy's National Laboratories." National Research Council. 2015. Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19326.
×
Page 66
Next: Appendix F: Governance Charter for an Interagency Council on the Strategic Capability of DOE National Laboratories as National Security Assets »
Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $40.00 Buy Ebook | $31.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges is an independent assessment regarding the transition of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) laboratories - Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories - to multiagency, federally funded research and development centers with direct sustainment and sponsorship by multiple national security agencies. This report makes recommendations for the governance of NNSA laboratories to better align with the evolving national security landscape and the laboratories' increasing engagement with the other national security agencies, while simultaneously encouraging the best technical solutions to national problems from the entire range of national security establishments. According to this report, the Department of Energy should remain the sole sponsor of the NNSA laboratories as federally funded research and development centers. The NNSA laboratories will remain a critically important resource to meet U.S. national security needs for many decades to come. The recommendations of Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges will improve the governance of the laboratories and strengthen their strategic relationship with the non-DOE national security agencies.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!