The Independent Oversight Program is implemented by the Office of Health, Safety and Security's (HSS) Office of Enforcement and Oversight. The mission of this program is to provide DOE line management, Congress, and other stakeholders with an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of DOE policy and line management performance in safety and security, and other critical areas as directed by the Secretary of Energy. The Office of Enforcement and Oversight performs this mission by conducting activity, facility, site, and Department-wide performance-based assessments that are designed to verify that the Department's safeguards and security interests are protected, that the Department can effectively respond to emergencies, and that Departmental employees, the public, and the environment are protected from hazardous operations and materials. These assessments complement line management's responsibility for security and safety program oversight and self-assessments. The outcome of these assessments are reports that provide information and analysis regarding the effectiveness, vulnerabilities, and trends in DOE safety and security programs, and identify issues requiring corrective action as well as recommended areas for improvement.
The Independent Oversight Program is described in and governed by DOE Order 227.1, Independent Oversight Program, and a comprehensive set of internal protocols, operating practices, inspector's guides, and process guides that are available through this website. The program is implemented by two subordinate offices: the Office of Security and Cyber Evaluations and the Office of Safety and Emergency Management Evaluations.
The Office of Security and Cyber Evaluations evaluates safeguards and security, including cyber security, policies and programs throughout the Department with special emphasis on the protection of special nuclear material and classified and sensitive information. A special feature of these evaluations is the degree to which the office employs performance-testing to gather and analyze data related to these programs. For example, the office performs large-scale force-on-force performance testing using highly-skilled teams as simulated adversaries, and performs both internal and external penetration testing using state-of-the-art techniques to challenge and probe computer network security. These capabilities comprise a unique resource within DOE.
The Office of Safety and Emergency Management Evaluations evaluates safety policies and programs throughout DOE with a particular emphasis on evaluating worker and public protection from nuclear hazards, which exist at many DOE sites. This office accomplishes its mission through two primary mechanisms; a network of staff site leads who are assigned to monitor the activities at DOE sites with nuclear facilities or activities and coordinate office assessment activities at those sites, and a program of targeted reviews that evaluate selected functional or topical areas at multiple sites across the DOE complex. Assessment activities are selected, prioritized, and planned based on such factors as risk to workers and the public, facility operational status, and performance history.
Assessment reports that do not contain classified or sensitive information are publicly available via the Reports link on the menu to the left side of this page. Individuals may request access to reports containing classified or sensitive information, but these reports will only be provided to individuals with the proper security credentials and/or a justified need for access. Additional information about the Independent Oversight Program and the two offices that implement this program is provided in the Appraisal Process Protocols and is also available from other links on this web site.
We hope that you find this information of value and encourage you to contact us with any questions you have about the program's objectives or its implementation.