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Independent Oversight Special Study, Department of Energy - August 2003

August 2003

Special Study of the Department of Energy's Management of Suspect/Counterfeit Items

The Secretary of Energy’s Office of Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance (OA) conducted a special study of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) management of suspect/counterfeit items (S/CIs). This special study is responsive to the Deputy Secretary of Energy’s March 2003 memorandum directing OA to increase independent oversight attention on cross-cutting safety issues raised by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB). The special study was performed by the OA Office of Environment, Safety and Health Evaluations from May to August 2003.

Weaknesses in the DOE Headquarters and site S/CI processes resulted in delays and deficiencies in DOE’s initial investigations of the Temperform issue. Improvements are needed to preclude recurrence of similar problems. The ongoing and planned actions by EH and some sites are generally appropriate but need to be expanded and applied across the DOE complex

The OA special study included two major components: a review of DOE Headquarters management of the S/CI processes, which is discussed in Section 2; and a review of implementation of S/CI processes by selected DOE sites, which is discussed in Section 3. Section 4 presents conclusions and recommendations for management consideration. Appendix A provides supplemental information, including review team composition and the dates of the key review activities.