GOVERNANCE CHARTER FOR AN INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE STRATEGIC CAPABILITY OF DOE NATIONAL LABORATORIES AS NATIONAL SECURITY ASSETS
The purpose of this Charter is to provide a framework for the participating agencies to coordinate shared, long-term planning for the science, technology, and engineering (ST&E) capabilities resident in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Laboratories and other DOE sites (hereinafter, National Laboratories), and other ST&E capabilities of the Parties, that are of cross-cutting strategic national security interest,
The National Laboratories have the requisite expertise and facilities that uniquely position them to provide a wide range of ST&E capabilities critical to meeting a rapidly expanding and evolving array of national security challenges. Given an uncertain future and the increasing pull on the same resources by many Federal agencies, an executive-level forum is needed to ensure integrated planning for the utilization, through DOE, of the National Laboratory capabilities, encouraging optimal alignment with the highest priority national security needs. This Governance Charter is intended to provide a mechanism for the Parties to engage in interagency long-term strategic planning for capabilities that are unique to the National Laboratories. This will ensure that certain national security priorities can be supported by these unique capabilities in a coordinated, effective, and efficient manner.
The objectives of this Governance Charter are to:
- Provide a forum for the Parties’ leadership to identify and plan strategic ST&E collaboration of common interest in the area of national security;
- Examine critical strategic mission needs requiring the ST&E capabilities unique to the National Laboratories;
- Develop a mechanism for two or more of the Parties to undertake long-term strategic planning of common interest to develop and sustain strategic capabilities of inter-agency interest at the National Laboratories; and
- Create an interagency framework for two or more Parties to consider making collaborative national security investment decisions.
The initial signatories to this Charter are DOE, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), collectively referred to (together with any future participants in this Charter) as the “Parties.” Additional government agencies may become Parties to this Charter.
This Charter is authorized under the provisions of the following authorities:
- For DOE, including NNSA, Section 646 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91, as amended; 42 U.S.C. § 7256); Title XXXII of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, Public Law 106-65.
- For DoD, 10 U.S.C. 113, “Secretary of Defense.”
- For DHS, 6 U.S.C, § 112, “Secretary; functions.”
- For ODNI, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law 108-458.
- Mission Executive Council
The Parties each agree to appoint two senior executives to serve as members of the Mission Executive Council (hereinafter “Council”). The Council will be led by two Co-Chairs, the Mission Co-Chair and the Capabilities Co-Chair. The Director, National Counterproliferation Center, representing the DNI, will serve as the Mission Co-Chair, with the understanding that the role may rotate among the parties each year, as the Council decides. The DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security (NNSA Administrator), representing DOE as the sponsor and contracting authority for the National Laboratories, will serve as the Capabilities Co-Chair. Council meetings will be scheduled at least quarterly, with reports of Council meetings being provided to all Parties by the Staff Secretary.
The Council will serve as an inter-agency forum for discussion and coordination On developing priorities among the Parties regarding long-term strategic ST&E capabilities at the National Laboratories. On at least an annual basis, and more often as may be deemed necessary, the Council will: (1) review and assess the adequacy of national security ST&E capabilities at the National Laboratories in identified crosscutting areas; (2) identify and consider candidate ST&E capabilities needing interagency attention; (3) consider the Subcommittee’s recommendations on the development or sustainment of capabilities required to close identified gaps; and (4) take such actions as may be necessary and appropriate. Each Party will bring to the discussions of the Council those ST&E requirements that might impact the execution of the mission of any of the Parties.
- Mission Executive Council
The primary responsibility of the Mission Co-Chair is to coordinate and document the strategic capability ST&E needs brought by the Parties for consideration. The Capabilities Co-Chair has the primary responsibility to ensure that relevant National Laboratories are engaged for each strategic capability need identified and to coordinate, as determined appropriate, with the National Laboratory Directors regarding the work of the Council. Subcommittee members are responsible for considering the resulting gaps and opportunities and recommending steps in collaboration with other member agencies to address them.
- Staff Secretary
The Council will appoint a Staff Secretary from one of the Parties who will facilitate communications among the members of the Council. The position of Staff Secretary will rotate annually among the Parties.
The Staff Secretary will work under the oversight of the Co-Chairs, and undertake all administrative functions necessary to operate the Council.
- National Laboratories
When the capabilities of strategic interest to the Parties are compiled by the Council, the Capabilities Co-Chair will engage the directors of the relevant National Laboratories. The specific laboratories included in the strategic capabilities assessment process will evolve based on the stated needs of the Council members.
The National Laboratories’ Directors engaged by the Capabilities Co-Chair will be responsible for providing the long-term planning status for the ST&E capabilities identified by the Council. This input will be coordinated through the Capabilities Co-Chair.
- Mission Executive Council Subcommittees
The council may establish Government-only subcommittees.
Subcommittees may be used to perform one or more of the following activities: (1) identify mission needs that may require the development or enhancement of an ST&E capability need for consideration by the Council; (2) develop specific proposed plans to address ST&E capability gaps agreed to by the Council, and (3) foster coordination of individual investments at the National Laboratories that are the products of strategies agreed to by the Council.
This Charter creates no financial or operational commitment or obligation for any of the participating agencies. Any financial transactions that may be undertaken by one or more of the signatories will be under the auspices of an agreement independent of this Charter and reflect the interests of the agencies involved.
This Charter will be reviewed annually and may be modified in writing with the
consent of the Parties at any time. The Parties intend this partnership to expand, as appropriate.
- EFFECTIVE DATE
The terms of this Charter will become effective upon signature of the initial Parties and will remain in effect until rescinded.