An interesting item in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013 signed this month by President Obama into law. This legislation provides policy/budget guidance for the DOD and NNSA. No actual funding, which is contained in the yet to be enacted FY 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. Looks there’s congressional desire to turn the Labs in to actual “national” labs.
SEC. 3148. STUDY ON A MULTIAGENCY GOVERNANCE MODEL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY LABORATORIES.
(a) INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT.—
IN GENERAL.—The Administrator for Nuclear Security shall commission an
independent assessment regarding the transition of the national security
laboratories to multiagency federally funded research and development
centers with direct sustainment and sponsorship by multiple national
security agencies. The organization selected to conduct the independent
assessment shall have recognized credentials and expertise in national
security science and engineering laboratories.
(2) BACKGROUND MATERIAL.—The assessment shall leverage previous studies, including—
the report published in 2009 by the Stimson Center titled ‘‘Leveraging
Science for Security: A Strategy for the Nuclear Weapons Laboratories in
the 21st Century’’; and
(B) the Phase 1 report published in 2012 by
the National Academy of Sciences titled ‘‘Managing for High- Quality
Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security laboratories’’.
(3) ELEMENTS.—The assessment conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include the following elements:
(A) An assessment of a new governance structure that—
gives multiple national security agencies, including the Department of
Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy,
and the intelligence community, direct sponsorship of the national
security laboratories as federally funded research and development
centers so that such agencies have more direct and rapid access to the
assets available at the laboratories and the responsibility to provide
sustainable support for the science and technology needs of the agencies
at the laboratories;
(ii) reduces costs to the Federal Government
for the use of the resources of the laboratories, while enhancing the
stewardship of these national resources and maximizing their service to
(iii) enhances the overall quality of the scientific
research and engineering capability of the laboratories, including their
ability to recruit and retain top scientists and engineers; and
(iv) maintains as paramount the capabilities required to support the nuclear stockpile stewardship and related nuclear missions.
A recommendation as to which, if any, other laboratories associated
with any national security agency should be included in the new
(C) Options for implementing the new governance
structure that minimize disruption of performance and costs to the
government while rapidly achieving anticipated gains.
(D) Legislative changes and executive actions that would need to be made in order to implement the new governance structure.
IN GENERAL.—Not later than January 1, 2014, the organization selected
to conduct the independent assessment under subsection (a)(1) shall
submit to the Administrator and the congressional defense committees a
report that contains the findings of the assessment.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013
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