Department of Energy

Less process, more audits (aka, stop the culture of punishment o

Currently the DOE has vast volumes of rules and regulations to govern its operations. So much so, that it takes a new R&D staff member years to negotiate how to get work done within the tight boundaries. One of the chief reasons for this plethora of codes and requirements is a U.S. culture of punishing the innocent. Instead of solely dealing directly with an individual who does something unethical or illegal (via discipline or prosecution) and issuing a "lessons learned," we make a whole set of rules to "keep" the 99% who wouldn't have ever done the offending act in the first place from repeating the act. The enforcement of those rule easily costs the DOE twice what it cost to do direct work. If people doing R&D knew they had simpler business systems and practices, but they would be receiving more random audits of their programs, it would not only increase productivity, but probably deter unethical and illegal activity far more than any new set of rules could ever do. Reduced paperworks and hoops to jump through to get R&D work done would immediately increase operational efficiency of the DOE. Random audits would cost much less hiring people to "prevent" people from violating the rules on the front end and be a much stronger deterrent to unethical behavior. In other word, streamline the business systems that 'prevent' people from doing something wrong (and don't) and spend more time performing audits.

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Idea No. 17987