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GAO: DOE Should Hold Periodic Meetings to Share Information on Contracting Process

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The Government Accountability Office has recommended that the Department of Energy conduct periodic meetings to facilitate sharing of information with industry stakeholders on how competitions are carried out for contracts to operate national laboratories and perform environmental cleanup work. GAO also encouraged DOE to share how proposals are assessed.

GAO interviewed DOE officials and industry representatives and examined contract files for 15 competitions and found that fewer companies and universities submitted bids for management and operating contracts than for other contract types between fiscal years 2015 and 2020, according to a report published Tuesday.

Industry representatives that the congressional watchdog interviewed raised concerns over the fairness of the contract award process.

GAO additionally found that DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration and the Office of Science have not conducted quarterly meetings with industry entities that could help shed light on how they conduct competitions.

Improved information sharing could help these components address industry perceptions about fairness, which could in turn remove barriers to a more competitive acquisition environment,” the report reads.

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