September 27, 2011
Management Alert on Protective Force Training Facility Utilization at the Pantex Plant
As part of an ongoing audit to determine whether the Department of Energy is effectively utilizing its protective force training facilities, we determined that the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Office of Secure Transportation (OST) plans to spend approximately $2 million for a new Physical Training/Intermediate Use of Force (PT/IUF) facility at the Pantex Plant (Pantex) near Amarillo, Texas. Our preliminary analysis suggests that the new facility may not be needed, making the $2 million expenditure unwarranted. Specifically, we noted that OST plans to construct the PT/IUF facility although Pantex has existing facilities that have the capability and capacity to fulfill OST's training needs. Our review of the analysis supporting construction of the PT/IUF facility revealed that officials did not fully consider Pantex's existing training facilities' capabilities and capacities before deciding that they did not meet OST's needs. As such, we recommended that NNSA re-evaluate its decision to construct its own PT/IUF facility at Pantex. Management's comments were responsive to the recommendation. Management stated they will re-evaluate its training facility requirements to determine whether a separate OST PT/IUF facility is in NNSA's best interest.
Topic: National Security & Safety