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Policy: Environment & Energy

Energy Department can't account for $906 million

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News,Watchdog Blog,Departments,Energy Department,Follow the Money,Energy and Environment

More than $900 million in excess subcontracts from the Department of Energy can't be accounted for from between 2010 and 2012.

In a report released in April 2013 by the Inspector General for the DOE, the outsourcing of work to subcontractors by the National Nuclear Security Administration resulted in nine audit flaws.

The $906 million came from costs that were not audited up to standards in places such as the Yucca Mountains, Los Alamos and Idaho. Management and Operating contractors did not develop and implement procedures to meet basic requirements that would have properly tracked the use of the money from the DOE and NNSA. These subcontractors are hired to manage and operate DOE facilities and laboratories around the country.

The timeliness and effectiveness of the audits is important to ensure the money given by the DOE and the NNSA is not only accounted for, but used correctly to avoid additional costs. Also according to the IG report, "the statute of limitations may prevent the M&O contractors from recovering unallowable costs if the audits are not performed within a reasonable time frame."

It is unknown how much of the $906 million was used improperly, for what it was used or if it was simply "lost."

This lack of oversight and accountability is not something new for the DOE. An IG report in January 2013 showed the DOE was struggling to properly dispose of a surplus of nuclear materials due to a lack of leadership.

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