H.A.S.C. No. 106-58: Status of National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Hearing Before the Special Oversight Panel on Department of Energy Reorganization of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives   [open html - 418B]

"Beginning really with the creation of the Department of Energy in the late 1970s, there have been studies, reports, commissions, and recommendations, which have been critical of the management of the Department, in part stemming from a number of things that were thrown together to create the Department of Energy in the late 1970s. Yet despite this regular drum beat for reform, for greater accountability and for a streamlined chain of command, not much has happened. In 1996, this Committee began efforts to reform the management structure at the Department of Energy in the areas at least under our jurisdiction, which are the national security programs, but it was not until the revelations of security breaches last year that enough political momentum developed to make the necessary reforms. And so in last year's defense authorization bill, Congress acted upon very specific recommendations of the President's own Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board which found DOE to be, quote, 'a dysfunctional bureaucracy incapable of reforming itself.' That report gave Congress two options. One is that we could create a semiautonomous agency within the Department of Energy responsible for national security matters, or we could take all of that out and create a completely separate independent agency. Congress chose to take the more moderate course, believing, really, that that was the last opportunity for DOE to prove that it could manage this very important national responsibility."

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