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Audit Report: OAS-L-10-10

September 8, 2010

The Audit of Precious Metals at NNSA Sites

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous organization within the Department of Energy (Department), uses precious metals, such as gold, silver, and platinum at its National Laboratories and production sites for research and development and to construct weapon components. Due to their value, Federal Regulation 41 CFR 109-27.51 (Regulation), Management of Precious Metals, requires Department organizations and contractors to establish effective procedures and practices for their administrative and physical control. Sites are also required to conduct annual reviews of precious metals holdings to determine if the quantities on-hand are in excess of program requirements, and if so, return the excess to the Department's precious metals pool for recycling. The Business Center for Precious Metals Sales and Recovery (Business Center), located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, operates the Department's precious metals pool. The Regulation also requires that precious metals custodians provide justifications for further retention of idle metals and that the justifications be approved by the custodian's supervisor.

Topic: Environmental Cleanup