March 28, 2008
The Honorable Samuel W. Bodman
Secretary of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585-1000
Dear Secretary Bodman:
In its letter to the Secretary of Energy dated January 31, 2002, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (Board) identified one remaining area that required progress before the closeout of Recommendation 98-1, Resolution of Issues Identified by Department of Energy (DOE) Internal Oversight. Specifically, the Board identified the need to update Functions, Responsibilities, and Authorities (FRAs) for various Headquarters program offices, as well as those for the field offices.
Since then, DOE has updated the Functions, Responsibilities, and Authorities Manual (FRAM) and the subordinate FRAs for the program offices. Several of these updates were significantly delayed by reorganizations within DOE. The Board’s staff has reviewed the relevant updated FRAs and determined that they now adequately address the elements called for in Recommendation 98-1. Consequently, the Board has determined that Recommendation 98-1 can now be closed.
Consistent with the vital importance of DOE’s oversight programs, the Board believes there are several areas in which continued vigilance is required. DOE Order 4 14.1C, Quality Assurance, establishes responsibilities and authorities for management and conduct of the Corrective Action Management Program (CAMP) with its Corrective Action Tracking System (CATS). This program, which is being used by DOE during quarterly meetings on corrective actions, was at the very heart of Recommendation 98-1. Two important elements of CAMP are:
These elements are relatively new at most sites, but are particularly promising for improving the safety of DOE’s work activities if properly executed. The Board will continue to track many of these issues under the Implementation Plan for Recommendation 2004-1, Oversight of Complex, High Hazard Nuclear Operations. The Board looks forward to your continued progress in this important area.
A. J. Eggenberger
c: Mr. Mark B. Whitaker, Jr.