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Independent Oversight Follow-up Review, Department of Energy Complex - May 2000

May 2000

Follow-up Review of Emergency Management Programs in the Department of Energy Complex

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is required to maintain a comprehensive emergency management system to ensure that DOE is prepared to protect workers, the public, the environment, and national security in the event of an accident or emergency. Following a chemical explosion at DOE’s Hanford site in May 1997, an independent oversight evaluation of emergency management programs across the DOE complex was conducted. That evaluation, completed in early 1998, concluded that, despite a series of 1997 Secretarial initiatives on emergency management, the programs at DOE Headquarters and DOE sites were still in need of substantial improvement and management attention.

The Office of Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance (OA) conducted followup reviews at selected sites to:

  1. provide DOE management with an update on the status of emergency management programs in the DOE complex and
  2. identify priority actions for performance and programmatic improvements. Although the information provided in this report is based on a sample of DOE sites and activities, the widespread and recurring nature of many of the weaknesses identified in this report indicates that they may be applicable to the broader spectrum of DOE sites in the complex.