Energy contractors at nuke sites found to have conflict of interest

Tennessee Valley Authority/AP File Photo

Energy Department contractors working to decontaminate two moribund nuclear weapons sites hold financial ties that amount to a conflict of interest, an inspector general’s report found.

Prime contractors at plants in Piketon, Ohio, and Oak Ridge, Tenn., are “unable to render impartial assistance or advice to the government” and otherwise perform objectively because they own stakes in subcontracting companies. Auditors, acting on a complaint, found that Energy managers failed to police against the potential for organizational conflict of interest among firms executing a five-year, $4.3 billion environmental cleanup involving radioactive material.

“The issues we identified occurred because federal officials did not ensure that contractors completed required mitigation efforts, and fully appreciate the potential impact of assigning employees across company boundaries during teaming arrangements,” the auditors wrote.

The chief contractor, Restoration Services Inc., oversaw the work of subcontractor Vetco, and another contractor, URS CH2M Oak Ridge or UCOR, supervised the work of RSI.

Auditors recommended adopting a more concise process for identifying conflicts of interest and enhancing training.

Energy managers in Washington agreed with the recommendations; the manager of the Oak Ridge project wrote a letter denying a conflict of interest.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.