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Project on Government Oversight




GAO Affirms POGO Recommendation On Federal Nuclear Guard Force: Effectiveness Of Protective Forces Would Be Improved

January 29, 2010 


POGO has obtained a draft copy of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “DOE Needs to Address Protective Forces’ Personnel Issues.” The report, to be issued next week, examines the management of over 2000 contractor protective forces who provide security for the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

One of the primary concerns raised in the report is the possibility of private contractors going on strike, “Without better alignment, in our opinion, there is a greater potential for a strike at a site, and potential risk to site security, when a protective forces’ collective bargaining agreement expires. . . .The potential for a strike and for declines in protective forces’ performance have elevated the importance of finding the most effective approach to maintaining protective force readiness…if DOE decides not to take meaningful actions or if its actions will not achieve the intended goals, an examination of other options, including the federalization of protective forces, may be merited.” 

“The GAO report characterizes DOE’s response as ‘limited.’ That is being too kind – of the 29 recommendations made by a DOE committee on this issue, the only one that was implemented was to extend the life of the committee. It’s about time that DOE fixes this problem. It has been studied to death.  As the GAO concludes – if DOE doesn’t solve the problem satisfactorily, then the guard forces should be federalized," Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project On Government Oversight. 

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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