Department of Energy

Department of Energy

Spending a Quarter to Save A Dime - discontinuing post allowance

Personnel "permanently" assigned overseas receive a "post allowance" (COLA under Title 5 U.S.C. 5924 reimburse for goods/services more expensive than in DC) Every time an employee goes on leave or TDY, there is a process to discontinue the post allowance - and then to re-establish it when the person returns to post. We are spending a quarter to save a dime. The theory is that the government should not pay “double”,... more »

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Department of Energy

3 ways for National Labs to operate with a lower financial basel

I would like to recommend: 1) Use of Bloom Energy Servers to supplement regional power generation - these use natural gas in a combustionless means which strips electrons from the gas molecules www.bloomenergy.com 2) More aggressive use of patents and licensing of technologies borne from research - large corporations can generate up to 20% of their operating costs using passive income from licensing revenue 3) More... more »

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Department of Energy

Operations Research Analyst

Provide an incentive for delayed spending (or at least no disincentive) since delays at least help lower interest payments. Currently money not spent is lost and increases chance of future budget cuts. Rushing contracts frequently means money spent less wisely. I have seen many contract dollars spent very quickly with little thought and very little return since it would be lost otherwise. If people thought they could... more »

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Department of Energy

Training

There should be a centralized database for all training and employee development. Currently, there are multiple databases within and external to ESS, and they do not all communicate with each other, including IDP, CHRIS, OLC2, PMCDP, and FAITAS (there are probably more). Identifying, documenting, and monitoring training is very inefficient. Employees are required to re-enter data in multiple databases, and are also required... more »

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Department of Energy

Green Savings and Rewards

Hi, I built a house in 2007 and installed a rainwater sytem to provide water for toilets, wash machines and my garden wich is supplies by a 8000 liter underground tank. I also installed a wood-pellet heating system which is a renewable energy and is cheaper and cleaner than natural gas or fuel oil. Lastly, I installed solar-electric panels on the roof that feed electricity back into the power grid. This saves the... more »

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Department of Energy

Foreign Travel by NNSA Laboratory Personnel

Eliminate the requirement for HQ personnel to approve foreign travel by national laboratory staff. It is unnecessary paperwork. The labs have a management staff that oversees the time of their staff. They will make sure travel is appropriate. We trust them with spending millions on other functions we should trust them with this. Personally, I've never seen a request for foreign travel disapproved.

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Department of Energy

Return Unobligated Funds & Streamline Contract Closeout

One way to save funding is to return unobligated funds to the Treasury or require agencies to use the funding for legitimate purposes. Another way to save funding is for lawmakers to enact a law to streamline the contract closeout process to deobligate uncosted balances (aka carryover) from old contracts. Because DCAA audits and final invoice may be needed before a contract is closed out and funds deobligated, the deobligation... more »

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Department of Energy

Create Regional Radiation External Dosimetry Labs

Military Services have single dosimetry processing and laboratories. DOE should consolidate to regional processors to limit costs particularly for smaller sites. The regional processors could be allowed to compete for customers within DOE outside their region if their service/costs are superior. The DOE should ultimately consider eliminating its duplicative accreditation process in favor of NVLAP accrediation used... more »

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Department of Energy

Cradle-to-Grave Acquisition System

Agencies have individually assembled tools to manage their acquisition processes, but have based these processes on one set of acquisition rules including the FAR and reporting requirements like those for FPDS. The government should offer a one-stop system that assists with all phases of acquisition, contract management, and disposal of excess property. Acquisition personnel could avoid recreating specifications through... more »

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Department of Energy

Make Plans and Specifications Available to the Public

Agencies declare their intentions to introduce or revise programs in the Federal Register. Yet they do not have to publish drawings and specifications for construction or fabrication of real and personal property. This often causes problems because agencies rarely involve the public unless required by local authorities, putting off feedback from a concerned public only after execution, when the construction or fabrication... more »

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Department of Energy

Maintain a Registry of DOE Internal Databases

As a distributed, GOCO agency, DOE has many database systems, some redundant. Programs have come to expect to fund and build their own IT solutions, even when one solution would fulfill the same need across the Department. The enterprise architect (EA) needs to open up to the agency so that new data collection needs can build on existing systems. Meanwhile the EA should actively seek consolidation opportunities. The... more »

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Department of Energy

Avoid Overfunding Grantees

Expand USASpending.gov to include contract and grant deliverables. Grant-making agencies inadvertently double, sometimes triple fund the same work. With this added capability, program managers could search for similar, already federally-funded deliverables and give higher priority to innovative, responsive and highly-rated yet unfunded proposals.

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Department of Energy

Prompt-Pay and Volume Discounts

Require government agencies and contractors to always request prompt-pay and volume discounts on purchases from vendors and take them when available. Current Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) are too vague in this area and arguably insufficient to support audit findings of waste or inefficiency.

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