Workers install a process vessel ventilation system in a facility that houses two tanks for processing decontaminated salt solution at the Saltstone Production Facility at EM’s Savannah River Site.
The Office of Environmental Management (EM) is responsible for environmental restoration, waste management, technology development, and facility transition and management. EM oversees an annual budget of approximately $5.6 billion dollars. Over 90 percent of EM’s budget is contracted out to industry. With such a significant portion awarded to contractors each year, achieving excellence in the Department’s management of contracts is our objective. The EM Office of Acquisition and Project Management, working closely with EM sites, supports execution of the EM mission by overseeing the award and execution of contracts that complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy brought about from five decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research at sites throughout the United States striving to reduce risk and complete cleanup across all sites for the generations to come. In accordance with DOE P 547.1, Small Business First Policy, approved December 2012, the Department committed to maximizing opportunities for small business contracts and subcontracts. The policy ensures prime contracting opportunities are made available to the maximum extent practicable. In addition, the Department also implemented a policy to aggressively pursue increased use of fixed price and fixed unit rates contracts. This practice will place the appropriate amount of risk and responsibility on the contractor and provides maximum incentive for the contractor to control costs and perform efficiently.
We take our responsibility for ensuring we receive the intended results from our contracts at a good price for the taxpayer seriously. We have engaged outside experts to review our processes and make suggestions on how we can better serve the taxpayer and make the best use of the resources that we have been given to meet the mission of EM and the Department of Energy as a whole. One example of such a review is the National Academy of Public Administration study Managing America’s Defense Nuclear Waste. The results of internal and external reviews have informed our efforts to reform how we do business. Therefore, we are implementing a strategy to improve the Department’s management of contracts and major capital acquisition projects.
EM activities are being conducted through more than 40 prime contracts having a total value of over $90 billion and annual expenditures of over $5 billion. Awards are generally made to teams of individual companies that in turn procure equipment and services from numerous subcontractors. Both large and small businesses help us deliver quality facilities, projects, and services that meet the DOE mission and help ensure a safe and secure environment at legacy DOE sites for generations to come.
EM has distinguished itself as a leader within DOE in identifying and awarding small business set-aside contracts. For the five year period of FY 2010 to FY 2014, EM activities purchased a total of $2.25 billion via prime contracts directly from small businesses. Our support of small businesses continues in FY 2015, with a small business goal of 6 percent of projected purchases, which is roughly $309 million, based on a projected procurement base of $5.1 billion. Due to a recent change in policy, EM was also allowed to count awards made via first tier subcontracts through its management and operating contracts beginning in FY2014. The impact achieved through this effort was an additional $139M in small business awards in FY2014 and the same level of commitment is anticipated in FY2015.
One of the major focuses of the EM Federal workforce is to carry out an effective and efficient process for acquiring services for construction, deactivation and decommissioning, waste management, and environmental cleanup. EM created the EM Acquisition Center to provide a centralized focus on the major procurements that are required for EM to fulfill its mission. The EMAC provides an integrated business system that supports operations and field offices in the planning, procurement and managing of major EM acquisitions. The EMAC along with representatives from the sites, develop and implement site and project specific acquisition and contract strategies, including award of major contracts. This is achieved with collaboration with the DOE Office of Procurement and Assistance Management. Upon award, contracts are administered by the operations and site offices.
All EM procurement offices execute their acquisition and oversight responsibilities through a standardized process with a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities; more focused contracting resources and expertise, clear expectations, and uniform guidance throughout the EM Program. EM continues to focus on reducing the time required to conduct major procurements through improved planning, integration, communication, tracking, and by having the necessary resources and expertise available when required.