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Audit Report: IG-0866

May 31, 2012

Integrated Safety Management at Sandia National Laboratories

In 1996, the Department of Energy established an Integrated Safety Management (ISM) system intended to prevent or reduce occupational injuries, illnesses and accidents by providing safe and healthy workplaces.  As part of ISM, the Department requires its facility contractors, such as Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), to define work processes, enhance safety, and hold managers responsible for implementing ISM.  Since 1997 and continuing into 2011, the Department had self-reported numerous deficiencies with Sandia's ISM implementation and execution; and that these problems often occurred at the line manager level in the contractor's chain of command.  We found that Sandia had not fully addressed the root causes of weaknesses in ISM implementation.  Specifically, Sandia had not always ensured that line managers performed effective self-assessments to identify ISM weaknesses within its organizations, and were held accountable for ensuring implementation of ISM requirements.  We noted that Sandia had not always provided effective management and oversight of line managers' implementation of ISM.  Finally, the Department's Sandia Site Office, the entity charged with day-to-day management of the contract, had not established performance goals sufficient to monitor and/or evaluate Sandia's progress in implementing needed ISM corrective measures.  Management generally agreed with the findings and recommendations in the report and proposed and initiated corrective actions.  In particular, management indicated that it will use the report’s findings and recommendations to drive continued improvement of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s implementation of ISM.

Topic: National Security & Safety