The Commission convened its final meeting in a public teleconference on October 23, 2015. At this meeting, the Commission outlined comments received on its final report during the written public comment period, heard additional comments from the public, and voted unanimously to approve the report. The Final Report (Volumes 1 and 2) is available for download below.
Section 319 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law No. 113-76) directed the Secretary of Energy to establish the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories. The Commission was charged with reviewing the 17 Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories. It was established in May 2014 and held monthly meetings from July 2014 to July 2015. Congress directed the Commission to evaluate the laboratories in terms of their alignment with the Department’s strategic priorities, duplication, ability to meet current and future energy and national security challenges, size, and support of other Federal agencies. The Commission was also to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the laboratories, including assessing overhead costs and the impact of DOE’s oversight and management approach. Lastly, Congress had several specific questions related to the use of laboratory directed research and development (LDRD) such as the effectiveness of the Department’s oversight approach and the extent to which LDRD funding supports recruiting and retention of qualified staff. The Commission separated its charge into two phases. Phase 1 focused on the mission and strategic planning of the laboratories and Phase 2 targets the operation and oversight of the laboratory system. LDRD as it relates to the issues outlined above was considered in both phases of the Commission’s task. The Commission issued an Interim Report in February 2015 with its preliminary observations and recommendations.