Department of Energy: Views on the Progress of the National Nuclear Security Administration in Implementing Title 32, Statement of Robert A. Robinson, Managing Director, Natural Resources and Environment, Testimony before the Special Oversight Panel on Department of Energy Reorganization, Armed Services Committee, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 78KB]

"Since its creation in 1977, DOE has conducted technically complex activities at its facilities across the country. These activities include developing, producing, and maintaining nuclear weapons; preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and designing, building and maintaining naval nuclear propulsion systems. However, in conducting these activities, DOE has historically been plagued by organizational and managerial problems that have resulted in significant cost overruns and schedule delays on major projects, as well as the failure to complete and operate some of those projects. These problems continue, as the recent cost overrun of over $1 billion and schedule delays with the National Ignition Facility demonstrate. There have also been a number of security concerns at DOE facilities. Ultimately, the Congress concluded that DOE, as configured at the time, could not be counted on to correct these organizational and managerial problems. Accordingly, in Title 32 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, the Congress created a new semiautonomous agency within DOE"the National Nuclear Security Administration. As required by the act, DOE issued an Implementation Plan for the creation of NNSA in January 2000. The Implementation Plan called for three program offices within NNSA, support offices, and a field office organization. In the Panels view, DOEs plan, as originally crafted, was not in keeping with the intent of Title 32. As a result, the fiscal year 2001 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. No. 106-398) amended Title 32 to require, among other things, additional information on NNSAs organization, planning, programming, and budgeting."

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