SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10647]
IMPLEMENTATION OF TITLE XXXII OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MARCH 2, 2000
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HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Sixth Congress
FLOYD D. SPENCE, South Carolina, Chairman
BOB STUMP, Arizona
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JOHN R. KASICH, Ohio
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
STEVE BUYER, Indiana
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
JAMES TALENT, Missouri
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCVAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
BOB RILEY, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MARY BONO, California
JOSEPH PITTS, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
STEVEN KUYKENDALL, California
DONALD SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia
JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSILVESTRE REYES, Texas
TOM ALLEN, Maine
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Brian Green, Professional Staff Member
Ashley Godwin, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
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Thursday, March 2, 2000, Implementation of Title XXXII of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000
Thursday, March 2, 2000
THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2000
IMPLEMENTATION OF TITLE XXXII OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Spence, Hon. Floyd D., a Representative from South Carolina, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Richardson, Hon. Bill, Secretary, United States Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.
[The Prepared Statements submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Skelton, Hon. Ike
Spence, Hon. Floyd D.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
DOE Nuclear Weapons Programs Management and Oversight
Excerpts of Testimony by Dr. Sidney Drell
Excerpts of Testimony by Ms. Gary Jones, General Accounting Office
Memorandum for All Department Employees Subject: National Nuclear Security Administration
NNSA Organization According to DOE Implementation Plan
The Rudman Report, ''Science at its Best, Security at its Worst''
Title 32 Compliance Status
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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IMPLEMENTATION OF TITLE XXXII OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, March 2, 2000.
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:12 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Floyd D. Spence (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. FLOYD D. SPENCE, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please be in order. I want to apologize to everyone here for our lack of attendance, but the House is not in session today and so a good many members left early for their districts. But we still have the important ones here, and so we will proceed.
This afternoon, the committee will review the status of the implementation of the Department of Energy reorganization provisions approved by the Congress in last year's National Defense Authorization Act. I am pleased that Secretary Richardson has agreed to appear before us today to address this important topic and I welcome him officially back to this committee. He is a colleague, as many of you know, for many years in the House with many of us.
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The reorganization legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton last year represents the most significant restructuring of DOE since the Department's inception in 1977. The legislation created a semi-autonomous agency within DOE, the National Nuclear Security Administration, with responsibility for the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of the United States' nuclear weapons stockpile, nuclear nonproliferation, and naval nuclear reactors.
The reorganization effort was driven in large part by the nuclear espionage scandal that rocked the Department last year. The committee first became aware in the fall of 1998 that some nuclear secrets had been compromised. However, in the spring of 1999, a bipartisan House committee headed by Representatives Chris Cox and Norm Dicks concluded that China had gained sensitive information on all of our currently-deployed nuclear warheads. At that point, President Clinton tasked his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board to look into the security problems at DOE.
The Board came back in June of 1999 with a dramatic recommendation. Citing years of mismanagement, a culture of hostility toward security, and the Department's inability to reform itself, the Board recommended the establishment of a semi-autonomous agency within DOE. The new agency, according to the Board, should report to the Secretary but have minimal bureaucratic ties to the rest of the Department.
In response, Congress adopted a reorganization plan intended to correct the confused lines of authority and reporting chains that have troubled the Department from the very beginning. When fully in place, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) would result in the nuclear weapons complex finally operating under those clear lines of authority, a clearly defined mission, and a needed degree of operational autonomy from the Department of Energy. At the same time, the Secretary of Energy will ultimately remain responsible for formulation of policies and oversight of NNSA operations and he will have the staff and authority to do that job.
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By law, this reorganization was to be fully implemented by yesterday, March 1. I am eager to hear Secretary Richardson's report on how well the Department is doing to achieve this objective as well as what needs to be done to bring the Department more completely into compliance with the law.
Unfortunately, I have serious concerns about the Department's efforts to date. A careful review of the implementation plan suggests that the goal of the Department was not to implement the fundamental changes required by law but rather to ensure that the existing organizational structure, lines of authority, and fiscal and managerial practices of DOE remain intact.
For example, the plan proposes to fill senior NNSA positions with current DOE officials serving in a dual-hat arrangement. As a principal author of this legislation, it is my view that this approach is in direct and clear violation of Congressional intent and I do not know of any creditable reading of the law that could conclude that the dual-hatting practice is consistent with the letter of the law. This approach, if carried out, threatens to undermine the clearly established goal of semi-autonomy for the NNSA.
It should be stated that I do not consider this debate to be about Secretary Richardson. I certainly do not hold Secretary Richardson responsible for DOE's past mismanagement and security problems. In fairness, many of these difficulties started long before his tenure and he has made good-faith efforts to address many of them. But while I recognize these positive steps, it is my view that the Department today stands in conflict with the will and intent of Congress and the clearly established requirements of law.
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Mr. Secretary, I welcome this opportunity to hear from you on these issues and to have a candid and productive exchange on how best to rectify this situation. Before proceeding further, let me first recognize the committee's ranking Democrat, Mr. Skelton, for any opening comments he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Spence can be found in the Appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I join you in welcoming our witnesses, but especially my good friend and former colleague, the Honorable Bill Richardson. Secretary Richardson, your presence here today to discuss the establishment of the National Nuclear Security Administration is especially important in helping this committee execute our oversight responsibilities in matters relating to the production and maintenance of our critical nuclear weapons stockpile.
Today's hearing is motivated by the need for us to better understand the impact of the most significant reorganization of the Department of Energy's defense programs activities to date. It is imperative that we understand the actions you either have taken or plan to take to implement the law and the reasons behind those actions. I do not think any of us need to review in detail the management challenges that you face in your Department. They are well documented. We should not reasonably expect that they will all be resolved overnight.
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For that reason, I personally appreciate the initiatives that you, Secretary Richardson, have taken to maintain the reliability of our critical and strategic nuclear materials, to sustain our national laboratories, and to provide for the protection of classified nuclear weapons information.
I am also convinced that Title XXXII legislation, which the Congress passed last session, while not perfect, is a useful first step in helping to resolve some of the management problems. Now, I am aware that reasonable minds can differ over the best approach to meaningful institutional reform. While Congress and the Administration have not necessarily been traveling down the same path, we do have the same destination in mind, Mr. Secretary, a Department of Energy that is better organized, more efficient, with clear lines of authority and better security measures in place.
I am aware that you have reservations with last year's law. In that regard, if there are portions of the law that are unworkable, please tell us so that we may consider the inclusion of changes in this year's defense authorization bill. At this point, I remain optimistic about the potential effectiveness of the National Nuclear Security Administration, the law that we passed, in achieving the objectives that I just mentioned.
Secretary Richardson, I look forward to hearing your testimony and thank you so much for being with us.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be found in the Appendix.]
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, any prepared statement you have could be submitted for the record and you can proceed as you would like.
STATEMENT OF HON. BILL RICHARDSON, SECRETARY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, WASHINGTON, DC
Secretary RICHARDSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. With me today is T.J. Glauthier, the Deputy Secretary of Energy, and my Director of Management and Administration, David Klaus. They have been responsible for implementing the new law and setting up the NNSA. I also have here Deputy Counsel Eric Fygi, who can answer any legal questions you may have about this new administration. He will be the new counsel at the NNSA.
Mr. Chairman, let me first begin with some good news. I want to tell you about my recommendation to the White House for the Under Secretary of the NNSA. He is Air Force General John Gordon, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
General Gordon has a distinguished military career which began as a physicist with the Air Force at the Air Force weapons laboratory in New Mexico. He later served as Office Director for Strategic Nuclear Policy and Director for Defense and Arms Control Matters at the State Department. He commanded the 90th Strategic Missile Wing at Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. He was Director of Operations for Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.
He served for almost four years as Special Assistant to President Bush for National Security Affairs, Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control at the National Security Council. General Gordon next served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Chief of Policy at the Department of Defense. Prior to becoming Deputy Director at CIA, he was the Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support at CIA.
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I pledged to Congress last fall that I took seriously my charge from members in both houses to find a first-rate person for this position. The legislation specifically asked for somebody with a strong national security background and I do not think there is anybody better qualified in this country to take this position, technical background, too. General Gordon is that first-rate person with a background. I am looking forward to his prompt confirmation in the Senate.
I want to thank the panel I selected to find the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration. On December 30 of last year, I appointed former DOE Deputy Secretary Charles Curtis as head of the special task force. He, along with other task force members, former DOE Secretary Admiral Jim Watkins, as well as Admiral Henry Chiles and Andrew Athy, Chairman of my Energy Advisory Board, did an excellent job of searching for and recommending candidates for the position. For the record, General Gordon was the top choice of my search committee and they interviewed many, many people.
It is critical for General Gordon to be confirmed for a three-year appointment. I am proposing in the change of the law to allow him to serve at least a minimum of three years. The change in law should not preempt the President from removing the incumbent, nor should it include language that would specify removal for cause. This change would be much like the statutes allowing for the appointments of the Joint Chiefs. I have secured an agreement with the Senate to move expeditiously on this and hope to have the support of this committee and the rest of the House for this legislation. A three-year appointment is a serious commitment to making the NNSA work in a way that supports the mission of the Department of Energy.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I know I will be asked extensively about boxes and who reports to whom, but in the end, it is the people that run the agency that ultimately will decide its fate, and I think in General Gordon we have a first-rate person.
As you know, the agency is now in place, and yesterday, 2,013 employees were reassigned to the NNSA. I personally signed all of these orders. Defense programs, naval reactors, fissile materials and disposition, and nonproliferation and national security have been incorporated into the administration. Organization charts and mission and function statements are in place. Delegations of authority to the NNSA administration are in place and positions have been established.
In the next few months, I hope to have the Under Secretary and the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs nominated and confirmed by the Senate. With these positions filled, we can then further review the staffing of the NNSA to determine the optimum use of personnel, using the 300 excepted service provisions and buy-out authority provided in the legislation passed last year.
We have made real progress in implementing the law and I want to thank the Deputy Secretary and my Director of Management Administration for their hard work putting the NNSA in place. The mission of the Department is to carry out the national nuclear security responsibilities of DOE, including maintenance of a safe, secure, and reliable stockpile of nuclear weapons and associated materials capabilities and technologies, promotion of international nuclear safety and nonproliferation, and administration and management of the naval nuclear propulsion program.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In addition, the Offices of Defense Nuclear Security and Defense Counterintelligence have been established with a Chief of Defense National Security, Director of Emergency Operations, and a Chief of Defense Counterintelligence. General counsel and deputy general counsel positions have also been put in place. NNSA field office managers at Oakland, Oak Ridge, and Savannah River operations have also been instituted.
While we are implementing the law, you should know that I still have concerns about the NNSA and how it was designed in last year's legislation and I would hope to take up Congressman Skelton's offer of submitting to you some proposed changes that I will have.
My main focus this year will be in seeking new language which allows the Secretary of Energy to manage all personnel within the NNSA. This power was provided in the Senate-passed version of the bill. It was dropped in conference. The President and Congress hold the Secretary of Energy accountable for his or her action. At the very least, the law should allow the Secretary to manage personnel at the NNSA in the fashion that he or she determines necessary. Otherwise, we will end up exacerbating the institutional isolation and arrogance identified in Senator Rudman's report. I have Senator Domenici's support in seeking this change and I will seek the support of this committee.
Another issue I understand the committee has concern about is the dual-hatting of officials in the new administration. We will not be dual-hatting hundreds of DOE employees, as some in the Congress were expecting. Rather, the positions that have been dual-hatted are relatively few. The January 1, 2000 report to the Congress identified a total of nine. Over the past two months, as our implementation task force has gotten into the fine detail of the legal and administrative actions necessary to implement the Act, we have identified an additional seven to ten positions that need to be dual-hatted as of March 1.
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Six of those officials perform quasi-judicial roles within the Departmentthe Board of Contract Appeals, the Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Department's Ethics Officer, the Civil Rights Officer. These officials hear and adjudicate contractor appeals, employee civil service complaints, whistleblower complaints, and Freedom of Information issues. Rather than appoint a new set of individuals to perform these functions within the NNSA, these officials are dual-hatted so that they can continue to serve the entire Department. We have also dual-hatted a career employee of DOE in the personnel and procurement areas. These dual-hats are necessary to avoid duplication and to assure that the administrative operation of the Department functions. Other issues involving environmental safety and worker safety oversight, security, and counterintelligence may arise as the NNSA matures as an organization.
Mr. Chairman, I will be pleased to answer any questions. As you know, I have been active intensively lately on other issues. If I turn technical questions to my deputy, my management expert, and my counsel, it is because they have been working literally on a daily basis to set up the NNSA and are most familiar with the details of the new organization.
I have come to you wanting to work with you. I am trying to do the best job I can to implement the law. I think we need some changes, but perhaps we can work cooperatively in dealing with these issues as we move ahead this year. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Again, I appreciate your coming and meeting with us today.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Indeed, you do have good news about your submitting the name of General Gordon to the White House as your recommendation to be the nominee for the Under Secretary of Nuclear Security. Presuming that he is confirmed in a timely manner by the Senate, will General Gordon be free to select his own General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, and the other positions that are now being filled by DOE personnel in a dual-hat capacity? Will he be able to replace those?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Mr. Chairman, I intend to keep those dual-hatted employees where they are. I will work with General Gordon on the staffing. I need to work with you to find budgets and monies for this new agency. But it would be my intent to keep the dual-hats for these limited number of employees, as I said, to avoid duplication.
I would point out, for instance, that in the area of counterintelligence, the House Intelligence Committee has praised the work of Mr. Curran, my current chief. I think General Habiger, who many of you know, has done good work at security. I have dual-hatted them, and my view, Mr. Chairman, is that we already have good people there that need to do oversight throughout the Department and we have the green light from some committees of the Congress that because of the Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) and counterintelligence, this makes sense.
I want to make this efficient and as rapidly as possible. We have a very good General Counsel in the Department. We have very good procurement officers. So it would be my intent, Mr. Chairman, to keep these dual-hatted.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a question we are going to have to get into further, whether it is possible to do that or not, but what latitude would also General Gordon have to evolve NNSA in the direction of semi-autonomy the Congress clearly mandated in the legislation?
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Secretary RICHARDSON. Well, he will have that authority, obviously. He is the Under Secretary. We are moving ahead with this semi-autonomous agency. He will have latitude from me policy-wise. He will have latitude from me budget-wise. He will operate the semi-autonomous agency the way you have put in the law. There is no question with that.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Secretary, I know that the committee has been focusing on the implementation of the law and I know it is possible that adjustments or modifications to the law could be appropriate for any number of reasons. You now have some limited experience in setting up the NNSA. Let me ask you this. Are there specific provisions of the law that, in your opinion, in your estimation, are just unworkable or would have the effect of making the transition smoother if the law provided phasing options to implement these certain provisions? Also, I might ask you, did we overlook any critical aspect in the law? I appreciate your thoughts on that.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Congressman Skelton, number one, we are seeking only a change to the provision of the law that provides the Secretary may direct and control the employees and contractor employees of the NNSA only through the Administrator. I am accountable to the President, the Congress, and to you for these programs. If a Secretary of Energy is going to be held accountable, he or she must have authority over NNSA employees. The current law now holds the Secretary responsible for the Department without giving him the power to manage the Department.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So the delegation issue is and will be a serious problem. I think Congressman Spratt said it best in his dissenting views to the panel report. ''This structure severely limits oversight of the new National Security Agency. How will the Secretary of Energy exercise oversight of this agency if he cannot delegate or appoint others in his Department to act as his eyes and ears and to speak on his behalf? Every department of our government runs by delegation or appointment, but Title XXXII tightly circumscribes the Secretary and virtually denies him the power of delegation.'' So I need this power of delegation, Mr. Chairman.
Let me also say something. I may have misspoken earlier. I set the policy for the NNSA. I set the policy for the Department. I have the policy authority. I think I said that does the Under Secretary have policyno, I set the policy.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hunter.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, as I listen to you, I think of your many arguments before we passed this legislation and you have laid out and reiterated a number of those arguments, which I think were totally fitting and appropriate as your position before we passed it. What you have laid out for us is that some of the legislation may be wrong in your view, but nonetheless, you have got a legal obligation to follow this legislation and to implement it, not only in the letter that it was written in but in the spirit that it was written in. Nobody here, in my estimation, nobody, Democrat or Republican on this committee or anybody else who worked on this, ever dreamed that this thing would end up being implemented as a ''dual-hatted'' operation.
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Now, if we go back and look at the genesis for this, as you know, painfully, we had a situation where a person was identified as stealing nuclear secrets from the United States at Los Alamos. For 14 months after the Director of the FBI had told the Assistant Secretary of Energy words to the effect, from his testimony and the testimony of other witnesses, ''Get this guy out of here,'' because he is sitting next to the nuclear weapons secrets vault, he stayed there for 14 months.
When we pulled everybody in, including the former Secretary and everybody else who was involved in this, and the Assistant Secretary, Elizabeth Moler, and the head of security for the labs, nobody knew who was supposed to fire this guy. This was the culmination of a system that has been described by many as being abysmal, one in which there were multiple chains of command, in which there were multiple messages sent, in which staff managers ran individual micromanagement operations down through the lab system.
We ultimately installed what was recommended to us by a lot of pretty smart folks that is very similar to a military chain of command. It says that the division commander gets to appoint his brigade commanders and that he has, and this is a key word, control over them. That means that General Gordon still answers to you.
Now, what you are saying as a division commander is, you still want to have the ability to communicate separately with the private in the third platoon in the fourth battalion in C Company and you want to haveand that means, because we all know that staff members of secretaries, just as staff members of Congressional offices, have enormous power, that that power to some degree is diffused in your staff members in your general office, and that means that you are still going to have a situation in which confusion can reign.
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We all deal in accountability, and the way you have an effective oversight system, whether it is here or you and your operations in the executive branch, is to have a chain of command, to have accountability, where a person can sit in front of you and take responsibility for what happened and he does not say, well, I did not realize I was supposed to fire this spy. I thought that the word would come down through the Secretary's office through one of the staff people, which traditionally happens, and that they would talk to the sergeant in the third platoon and then the spy would have been fired or removed by that person.
I know you disagree with this legislation, but we did pass it. What I think is wrong with this dual-hatting is that what you do when you migrate a dual-hatted person who is outside of NNSA down into NNSA is that they carry their staff with them and you have basically migrated that same control by staff, who are also, incidentally, Mr. Secretary, unelected. You migrate those same folks down there and relationships are not changed. And when somebody down in the lower level of the operation on the operational area wants to effect a change or does not want to go along with a policy, they can run the trap line and go up through the back door and try to get somebody in your office to change it. I think you are going to have degraded security until you have an organization that is built on accountability.
Now, this thing went through this committee, and you got all of your complaints aired in front of this committee and I spent time with you. The chairman spent time with you. I always return my phone calls when you called up and you returned yours when I called up, and I know Mr. Thornberry worked on this very hard and lots of other folks and lots of folks from the Democratic side. And the Senators worked on this and we produced this system.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I guess my question to you is, number one, do you not feel you are under an obligation to carry out the system as we put in place without the dual-hatting, and number two, why do you not give it a chance to work? You get to pick your commander. That is General Gordon. You have told us that he is reliable, trustworthy, smart, and he can run this operation. Why do you not give him a chance instead of migrating your staff down to the interior of his operation where they are going to be second guessing his people?
What you have really done is at the same time that you are going to be securing the nomination and confirmation of General Gordon, you have taken all his power away, and you are also, by doing that, you are taking away his accountability to you when things go wrong, because now it is going to be, well, somebody went down through the back channels and got this thing changed and I did not know about it. Somebody on your staff did it after they got a call from somebody.
So, Mr. Secretary, do you not think that you need to follow this blueprint as we laid out, and number two, do you think you are following the letter of the law by doing this dual-hatting thing, and have a nice day.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Mr. Chairman, I am following the law and I intend to follow the law. What we are talking about is 18 dual-hats out of 2,013 full-time NNSA employees.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I beg to differ with you about hearings and that you listened to me on this legislation. This was done, I think I will quote a member of your own committee, this was done without a markup, without hearings. It was done in conference. Now, I am not going to get into that
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Mr. HUNTER. Well, you and I spent a lot of time together on this, and I listened to every one of your complaints, and I think you spent time with Mr. Thornberry and the chairman. I was in some of those meetings.
Secretary RICHARDSON. We had a version in the Senate that we believed was acceptable to us that corrected the authority of the Secretary, which I would ask that you consider for this year. Now, I do not want to get into another fight with you this year, but I firmly believe that the dual-hatting authority I have is legal. It is efficient. I am not trying to undermine General Gordon. But it does not make sense, Mr. Chairman.
By the way, you act as if there has been no accomplishments on security and counterintelligence in the Department for the last year, and there has and it has been because of people like Ed Curran and General Habiger. We have put the labs in green status. We have dramatically expanded counterintelligence. We have instituted polygraph programs. We have
Mr. HUNTER. And we have given you credit for that.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Well, I have yet to hear it. But my point here, and you are my friend, too, is that I have to manage this bureaucracy and I believe the best way to avoid duplication, to deal with implementing the law correctly, is notfor instance, if you have got the best counterintelligence person in the business in Curran and you have got a General Habiger, you want me to hire somebody else to replace them? That does not make sense. If I have got the best, and I have counterintelligence problems, I have security problems in the whole complex, so why not keep them there, dual-hat them. It does not mean that they are going to be undermining the Secretary. These are military people.
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I just think that this focus on dual-hatting as an attempt for me to subvert the legislation is wrong. I want to make it more efficient. I want to be able to have a transition where the 2,013 employees are going to be part of the semi-autonomous agency so we can get this moving.
I do not have the time to hire everybody. I need the money to hire people for this semi-autonomous agency. I have got the best person in the country to run it. Now give me a chance to run it and give me some of the changes that I need to run it effectively and efficiently, and I am asking for one. I am asking for the Secretary to have delegation authority within that structure. I got that in the Senate language. I have got that from Senator Domenici. I am asking for your support for this.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Secretary, why do you not just give the ball to General Gordon and let him run with it before you ask us to change the structure back? See if this thing works.
Secretary RICHARDSON. I will work with you, Congressman. I will work with you the way you worked with me at the end of the session. [Laughter.]
Mr. HUNTER. I really will work with you. I will work with you. You are my friend.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Sisisky.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SISISKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for being here, Mr. Secretary.
I will give you credit for doing a lot already. Now you have got it publicly. However[Laughter.]
Mr. SISISKY. This may not be fair, because you do not have a copy of this. The staff presented that this morning. All members up here have it, and it is a compliance chart. If it is green, that means you have done it, if it is yellow, you have not done anything, and if it is red, you are not going to do anything. In four pages, I only found one green, but I assume part of that is the dual-hatting problem, which I am sure is going to be explained a little later a little more.
I know that the law puts you on a fast track to reorganize the NNSA. How important is it to take time to really understand what is needed organizationally at this time of the development, in other words, phasing it?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Congressman, there is justin a bureaucracy, you are talking about a huge bureaucracy, over 100,000 people at sites around the country. I have shifted the lines of responsibility to make the Department more accountable. I have done that.
I would like toyou asked a very technical bureaucratic question that I would like to have my deputy answer because he has been, as they say, in the weeds doing this and I think that is the kind of answer you want.
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Mr. SISISKY. That is fine. I will be glad to have him. It is really not that technical. It is a pretty simple question.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. If I may, Congressman, the issues of accountability are really the fundamental ones that we are trying to deal with and the changes the Secretary put in place last year to try to clarify line and staff responsibilities throughout the Department are important ones that we want to maintain. So many of the areas, I understand, that are red on that chart are because of the dual-hat assignments.
And the dual-hatting that we have been talking about, as the Secretary says, it is only 18 positions out of the 2,000 that have been transferred over. In each case, that dual-hat is only the top person, the Gene Habiger security position, for example. The people who are going to carry out security in the defense program are all within the NNSA. They all are employees. They all report directly.
The Act gives the authority to the Secretary to set policy for the whole Department, for the NNSA and the rest of the Department. Implementing that policy, then, is the responsibility of each of these areas. So in the security area, for instance, it does make sense to have consistent policy across the whole Department. By having the dual-hat, we are not changing the policy determination because the policy determination is already with the Secretary, the way your law is set up. All it is doing is implementing it. Carrying it out will be done in the two parts of the organization consistently, and General Gordon will have the full responsibility and authority over all those resources to carry it out.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SISISKY. Very good explanation.
Secretary RICHARDSON. He is answering a lot better than I am. Maybe I should let him.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bateman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Chairman, I am going to yield whatever time is allotted to me to Mr. Thornberry, but not to diminish any additional time when his turn comes.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Thornberry.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate my colleague from Virginia.
Mr. Secretary, first, let me reiterate what the panel report said. We appreciate and commend you for the folks you put together to find the head of this new entity. You picked a first-rate team, and from everything I can learn, they have made a first-rate recommendation to you. I have nothing but praise for General Gordon. I do not know him well personally, but I have been asking lots of questions and it sounds like he is exactly the kind of person to put some confidence and stability back into this organization.
Do you have any idea of when the White House will formally send a nomination to the Senate?
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary RICHARDSON. Well, it is on a fast-track basis. I have secured the support of the White House. I have talked to General Gordon. I hate to predict how fast the White House will move, but it will be very fast. We have a commitment from Senators Lott and Domenici and Kyl to put that three-year language. That, by the way, is something else that was in the legislation that needed to be corrected.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Let me turn to that, because that was a provision as we were negotiating the language last year that made sense, to have a fixed term. My recollection is that we heard concerns voiced by Department of Energy folks that did not like that idea because they were concerned about diminishing your capability, and I just want to be clear for the record. You support having a fixed term for a number of years for the administrator?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Yes.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Okay, good.
Secretary RICHARDSON. For three years.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Great. Now, is that for the first administrator or is that forever after?
Secretary RICHARDSON. No. I think he should come up in three years.
Mr. THORNBERRY. No. I am sorry. Is that only the first administrator of this new entity or is that a permanent fixture of the law? Which would you prefer? There is debate both ways on it.
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Secretary RICHARDSON. I think each President ought to be able to appoint their own person, but I can tell you that General Gordon had serious reservations about accepting the position for one year.
Mr. THORNBERRY. I know. I talked to him about that.
Secretary RICHARDSON. He is a career officer. He has to give up the stars, and so I think that makes sense.
Mr. THORNBERRY. I agree with you.
Let me turn to dual-hatting for just a second. I think there are two concerns that sometimes we get confused or we mix up. One is a legal concern. Is it consistent with the law to dual-hat? The second concern is, does it make sense to dual-hat?
The panel had a hearing this morning. We heard from witnesses from Government Accounting Office (GAO) and Congressional Research Service (CRS), both of whom said, and this is pretty close to a direct quote, it is clearly against the letter and intent of the law to have any dual-hatting. Have your folks given you a different opinion than that?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Absolutely. I am on very firm legal ground. I have got my counsel here. This has been reviewed by the White House and I feel very confident that we are grounded fully in the law. I can say to you, I have yet to find the GAO to say something positive about anything. I can give you legal counsel opinions, too, but I very strongly feel that we are very much in the law and this is more efficient.
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Congressman, I am going to have my counsel answer you, but I guess what I am trying to say to you and to this committee, many of you that know me and are my friends, why do you not give me a chance to implement this dual-hatting to see how it works and if it does not work, I will come back to you, but I believe this is the most efficient way to run the Department, to avoid duplication. This is not constraining General Gordon whatsoever.
Mr. THORNBERRY. We may want to get into some additional legal discussion, but as I mentioned, there are two concerns. One is, is it consistent with the law. One is, does it make sense. While your counsel is there, let me just mention that one of the concerns we heard raised this morning was that these positions may be subject to question to the extent there could be increased liability on the part of the Department if there is something unfortunate that happens that can be traced back to one of these dual-hatted positions that is subject to constitutional and legal challenge. I just think that is something we all have to be cautious about.
Mr. FYGI. Forgive me. I am Eric Fygi, who was previously introduced by the Secretary in his opening statement. First, the analyses that I have read prepared by the Congressional Research Service on your request, the one in November and the more recent one in January, neither of them takes into account the fact that Congress enacted a law in 1964 for the express purpose of permitting dual-hatting government-wide. Second, there is not one piece of text in this statute that was enacted by the Congress, the National Nuclear Security Administration Act, that purports to alter that circumstance.
So, therefore, any contention that the decisions and the actions done by the Secretary thus far are somehow unlawful has yet to be substantiated in any way at all and we have not been persuaded that those criticisms are correct. That being the case, it is our responsibility to make the judgments of interpretation of existing law in carrying it out and we will continue to do so.
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Mr. THORNBERRY. Let me ask just a brief question, then I will yield my time at this point, Mr. Fygi. The law says explicitly that people within the NNSA cannot be directed by people outside the NNSA. So if you have got somebody that is dual-hatted, they are in it sometimes, they are out of it sometimes, and so how do you sort out when they can be directed by somebody else from the Department of Energy and when they cannot be directed by somebody else?
Mr. FYGI. It is actually a matter of capacity, and interestingly, some of the people I have spoken to with Pentagon experience find this quite familiar. Someone can be dual-hatted and have two different jobs in the same person and the answer is when one is acting in the NNSA capacity, one is subject to the statutory restrictions applicable to NNSA employees and when one is acting in the other capacity, one has to observe the same statutory rules and limitations on what one can do contained in the statute. So there is no surmounting the limitations that are contained as part of the NNSA Act involving outside direction.
Mr. THORNBERRY. That is a difficult position to put somebody
Secretary RICHARDSON. Congressman, let me say to you, this happens already. Admiral Skip Bowman, the head of naval reactors, is dual-hatted. He is a DOD admiral and he runs two of our labs at DOE. He is dual-hatted. I fail to see how that would adversely affect General Gordon's responsibility.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. THORNBERRY. I think the point would be, Mr. Secretary, he is dual-hatted from DOD and DOE, which is a unique situation that works pretty well. To be dual-hatted kind of up here and down here below is a more confusing situation, particularly when you are trying to provide some insulation, and I think as a practical matter, that is where the concern is.
Mr. Chairman, thank you. I appreciate the gentleman from Virginia yielding to me at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Spratt.
Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Secretary, let me put the dual-hatting position issue in context. Did I understand you to say there are 2,013 full-time equivalents, civil servants, in NNSA?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Two-thousand-thirteen.
Mr. SPRATT. And beneath them, subject to their direction and supervision, there are 100,000 more employees of various contractors who work for the government? It may be Westinghouse at Savannah River, it may be University of California?
Secretary RICHARDSON. I would say closer to 40,000 to 50,000.
Mr. SPRATT. Forty- to 50,000? Two-thousand-thirteen civil servants, 40,000 to 50,000 more contract employees, and how many dual-hatted positions do you have, 17?
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Secretary RICHARDSON. Eighteen.
Mr. SPRATT. Eighteen? Eighteen out of 2,013?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Yes.
Mr. SPRATT. If you really wanted to undermine General Gordon and keep the reigns of power under yourself, I mean, would you care who his civil rights administrator was? I do not think you would get him that way, do you?
Secretary RICHARDSON. No.
Mr. SPRATT. Did the Congress give you any additional money for these additional positions?
Secretary RICHARDSON. No. In fact, on security, in supplemental assistance, you took money away from me. No, I did not get any extra money for this. The supplemental request, we asked for cyber security and other areas. We did not get it.
Mr. SPRATT. So if you had to go down your organizational chart and duplicate positions in the Office of General Counsel, positions in the Nuclear Security Division, positions in counterintelligence, where would you get the funds to do this? Would you have to take themyou would have to pay for them by displacement, I guess.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary RICHARDSON. Yes, and I would have to take them out of defense programs and Stockpile Stewardship, which I do not want to do.
Mr. SPRATT. With respect to the lines of authority, everybody talks about confusing lines of authority. There is an issue about the labs and the lines of communication that they have with the new NNSA. Is it your intent that they will still have to go through the field offices in order to get to General Gordon and the NNSA and give him important information about the weapons program?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Yes. I want the labs to be part of the DOE complex. You know, we came to this because of a lab oversight in security and counterintelligence. I think we dramatically improved the labs' abilities in these areas. We also have some management problems. I have got a problem right now at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) facility at Lawrence Livermore that I have got to decide what I am going to do with this program, whether we re-baseline it, continue this. I hope to consult with you soon.
My view is that there should be lines of authority involving the field offices. These are individuals that do contracting. They do a lot of good liaison. The Deputy Secretary set up a field management council that has improved the coordination between the labs and the field offices. I just do not want the labs to think they are off on their own without any oversight and supervision.
Mr. SPRATT. Well, the GAO was somewhat critical of you, but they did say something I think that we should all bear in mind. They said this is a first step in an evolving process, and
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Secretary RICHARDSON. The GAO said that?
Mr. SPRATT. The GAO said that.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Something decent?
Mr. SPRATT. They also said, if you did not read their report carefully, that they were not willing to say that you had violated the letter of the law with respect to dual-hatting, so you came through okay there.
But the point I wanted to make is the next most important step and the most important step of all is the selection of the person to head this agency. Anybody who has worked in DOD or DOE or anywhere in the government finds out their wiring diagrams do not mean a heck of a lot. What really matters is how power really flows, and with a person of his ability, General Gordon's ability and his experience, he will be able to take the reigns of authority and run the Department, the Administration as it should be run, and I think that should really overshadow all of these other petty considerations about whether or not we have dual-hatted 17 employees out of 2,013.
You are putting in the position there and asking for a three-year term for a person who is unquestionably qualified to run it and who will run it, based upon his past performance. We have no doubt that he will take the reigns of authority and exercise them in the administration of it, and I want to commend you for that and also commend you for your negotiations with OPEC. We are looking for fuel prices to come down soon.
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Secretary RICHARDSON. Well, we got some good news this morning. I do not know if you heard, but Mexico and Venezuela and Saudi Arabia said that they would increase production, so maybe there is relief along the way.
Mr. SPRATT. Well done.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Ryun.
Mr. RYUN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, I suppose it is because I have two Army posts in my district, but there is a lot of interest in this particular subject. I know when I go back and I spend a lot of time talking to them, you know, sometimes they do not understand this dual-hatting situation. They do not understand it. What the bottom line is for them is that they understand that security in the past has been compromised and that very important weapons have been lost.
When I go back to them and I can say we have had this meeting, what am I going to say to them when I can say you have complied with part of the law but not all of the law? What confidence do they have that what has been in the past is not going to happen again in the future because the law has not been fully enacted?
Secretary RICHARDSON. You can tell them that we have enacted comprehensive security reforms headed by General Gene Habiger, who is my security czar, who has instituted dramatic security increases at all our facilities, not just the labs, but at facilities like your constituents.
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Second, with counterintelligence, you can tell them that the best man that I have, that exists in the country, is somebody named Ed Curran, who is the best counterintelligencehe is an FBI officer. We dramatically upgraded cyber security. We have instituted background checks for foreign nationals. We have dramatically increased security procedures at all our facilities. And you can tell them that in that year that that compromise took place, the dramatic improvements have happened, and the reason, Congressman, is because I dual-hatted them to do this.
Mr. RYUN. I want to follow up on what Mr. Hunter said earlier, though. You see, we do not know whether this law that we are asking you to follow through with is actually going to do everything that it should. You will not give us the opportunity, because even though Mr. Spratt has mentioned it, there are still some 18 positions that are still being dual-hatted. That is why I am saying there is not that element of confidence in knowing that this will not happen again.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Congressman, I have asked this committee for delegation authority to reach into the Department. Would you be willing to give me that? I have not heard anybody say that they are ready to be supportive of that. I got that in the Senate. I feel I need it to run this agency efficiently. I am not saying I am going to trade one for the other. I am telling you I am doing my best to implement the law effectively and efficiently, and I believe that dual-hatting at this juncture, with no money, with the best people I have to avoid duplicationI think the implication is that by dual-hatting, somehow, these individuals are going to undermine General Gordon or they are my spies. I do not even know who some of these dual-hats are, outside of Curran and Habiger. Well, I know Fygi. [Laughter.]
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Secretary RICHARDSON. You know, I have got so many other issues and problems, I do not say, well, how am I going to keep control of the contracting office at NNSA? That is not a big priority of mine right now.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. May I, Congressman, to expand on that, I think maybe if we take a minute and think about these 18 positions, that is not very many, but six of those positions are, in fact, the Board of Contract Hearings and Appeals and the Civil Rights Office and these other judicial types of review boards. Those are really not going to exercise control over the organization. What we are trying to do is avoid having to set up a whole other judicial system within the Department. Frankly, those budgets have been cut by the Congress over the last few years and the staffs have been reduced. So I do not see those six as the kind of threat that you are really talking about, so that brings us down to 12.
Of those 12, three of them are the field managers at sites that are not predominately defense sitesSavannah River and the Oak Ridge site and the Oakland site, where a lot of the employees and a lot of the contractors are not NNSA activities, so they need to be able to direct both, because at those sites, the tritium facility at Savannah River is going to require NNSA employees, contractors and all, and those are people who are directly responsible for NNSA, so the field manager has to be able to answer to both programs and supervise both. So those are dual-hatted, but it is not to undermine the authorities.
As you look at these others, we have procurement as one. Just because everybody in the field and in the NNSA organization signs contracts and actually obligates the government to various spending, we need to be sure that those are done consistently with the other authorities, so there is one for that purpose, one person that way in procurement. There is one in human resources for the same thing, personnel authorities that flow through.
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You really go through these and there are very few. There is security and the Counsel and Deputy Counsel, where you might make some arguments that there is something of a policy nature there, but it is very limited. The actual management of the programs, defense programs or the nonproliferation program or Naval reactors, are people who are 100 percent NNSA. There is no dual-hat. The person who heads that is an NNSA employee. The Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, for example, and everybody in defense programs is an NNSA person. There is no dual-hatting in that.
So I think that, in fact, when we work with you and your staff maybe to look at the details, it will not seem perhaps as threatening as it sounds when we just throw it out in general terms.
Mr. RYUN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think that if anybody has known Bill for a long time, it has been me. The Secretary and I were elected back in 1982, took office in 1983. I have worked with the Secretary before he became the Secretary on many issues, and I think that he has got his heart and his soul in the right place. Mr. Secretary, I want to commend you for a job well done. I mean, it is very hard.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At one point, you were doing a great job when you were a Congressman as a roving ambassador, and then you became Ambassador to the United Nations and I think that you were pulled away from that job by the White House to come to the Secretary of Energy because they knew that you could do something, and by the way, you know, we happen to be on the same team.
I do not see why we do not give the Secretary some leeway. I understand that the Senate is willing to work with you and to give you the authority to delegate, which is very important, and at the same time the three-year staff people that you want. He has got a very hard job to do. I mean, I think that the staff that you have is just as big as the districts that we represent. You have a big, big staff and I think that the people that you have surrounded yourself with, Mr. Secretary, are people that you trust, people who have done a good job and will continue to do a good job for you.
I just have one question. I do support you, by the way, on what you are trying to do and I hope that we can recognize that, by God, we are working for the same team. We have to be in a position where we can learn to work together.
The thing that I wanted to ask the Secretary is if you would share your views on the need for the field operating officers in the structure. Maybe you can enlighten us a little bit into that, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Congressman, thank you for your very nice words and your very gracious comments. If I have one request, it is that I be given that delegation authority that we have worked out with the chief author in the Senate. I also need the funding to get this agency going. I need General Gordon to be confirmed rapidly. Those are the things I need from the Congress.
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On the field offices, if I could, I will ask the Deputy Secretary to answer that.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Yes, thank you. The field managers actually are the contracting officers who sign the contracts for, let us say, the University of California to run the Los Alamos lab. So there is a line accountability, a legal accountability that has the field office there. The responsibility, though, and accountability should be very clear. In that case, the defense programs, the Albuquerque field office, and the Los Alamos site are all accountable and have authorities that flow from one another. There is obviously also a lot of direct communication, as there should be, from people at Los Alamos to people in the defense programs and to people throughout the complex.
Mr. ORTIZ. Keep up the good work, and I do not have any further questions, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Getting back to Mr. Thornberry.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Secretary, I just want to continue on one point on the dual-hatting question, and I just really want to bring this to your attention. One of the witnesses that submitted testimony for our panel this morning was Dr. Sidney Drell, who was a member of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, who has served in all the labs, and he testified by written statement this morning that the dual-hatting of counterintelligence and security may very well perpetuate the same bureaucratic confusion in the chain of command and the lines of accountability that our panel found to be distressingly prevalent in the DOE for the past 20 years.
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I want to make that point because what he says gets to the heart of the problem, which is not petty. I mean, this is what has been happening for 20 years and what has caused this mess, and the number of people is not as concerned as the concern that bureaucracy will prevent reform from occurring. I would just hope that if, when you have a moment, you could look at his comments, because I do think that they get to very practical, real concerns about how this is going to work.
I want to switch for a second and ask you, because I do not have a clear understanding of the other change you are asking for. My understanding from press reports and other things is that the change in the law you are requesting was to allow you, the Secretary, to go into NNSA and direct employees in NNSA under the administrator. When you used the term today ''delegation,'' it sounds like what you are interested in is being able to delegate to other people in your office the ability to give direction to employees in the NNSA. So can you tell us what you are asking for?
Secretary RICHARDSON. No, it is me, the power to delegate. In other words, I am the one that directs the employees in the NNSA.
Mr. THORNBERRY. But you personally, not people in your staff, not Mr. Falle or somebody to give orders?
Secretary RICHARDSON. That is right.
Mr. THORNBERRY. So it is you to be able to go to the assistant administrator
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Secretary RICHARDSON. Wait a minute. If I ask somebody at Pantex to do something, I might not have to call them myself. I might ask Mr. Falle to do it.
Mr. THORNBERRY. But you do not want to go through the administrator to do that. You want to go directly to the head of Livermore, Pantex, or whatever and say, do this.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Well, I am going to do that anyway. I am going to tell the lab directors, the head of Pantex, I am the ultimate authority at the Department.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Absolutely. That is why I am trying to understand what it is in the law and why that you want a change.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Well, in the law, it is not clear, the ability of me toI will ask Mr. Fygi to go in and within the NNSA delegate authority, and I think I need that, and Senator Domenici has agreed with that. I do not see why you would object to this, quite frankly, because
Mr. THORNBERRY. I do not know that I object. I am just trying to figure out what it is exactly that you are asking.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Well, you objected last year. Now, hopefully, you will change your mind this year. I am trying to run this Department and I need flexibility to do that. And, by the way, in the past year, we have dramatically improved many management operations, including security and counterintelligence. I would like to spend time at Pantex. Instead of worrying about whether I call the head of Pantex, I want to beef up the production facilities there because our Stockpile Stewardship program needs it. I do not want to be worrying about whether I have the ability to call the contractor and tell him to clean Site X. I like to deal with broader issues. But I ultimately want to have that delegation authority, and in the law, it is not clear and I am asking for it.
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Mr. THORNBERRY. Let me ask one other question, because you and Mr. Spratt were talking about whether you had additional money. To your knowledge, has the administration ever sent a supplemental request asking for additional money for positions in NNSA? I know there was a request that got kind of whittled down at OMB somewhere, but I do not know of any request that has come, and I just want to know if I have missed something.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Congressman, the law is to be implemented March 1 of this year, yesterday. You passed it in December. We asked you for security upgrades; you did not give it to us. We asked you for cleanup funds in supplemental requests; we did not get them. We asked you for counterintelligence funds; we did not get them. We asked for cyber security funds, all are part of the NNSA activities. We have asked for some lab monies. So I would ask you, if you want to have a strong, semi-autonomous agency, maybe you can help us get some of this money.
Mr. THORNBERRY. I do not know what requests you are referring to. The law passed October 5. We are anxiously awaiting a supplemental request because all the labs and plants have enormous difficulty. But the point I want to make clear is if you need additional funds to fund these 18 positions and eliminate this debate on dual-hatting or other essentials, we sure wish that you would get that request over to us because I think you will have a very sympathetic hearing.
Secretary RICHARDSON. Well, you are not going to get that request.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Underwood.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate your appearance before us today, Mr. Secretary.
I guess, looking at it and watching the entire scenario here, there is, I think from a majority of members of the committee, of this committee, a great deal of admiration for your efforts in instituting security reforms. You came into a very complex, very bad situation. You have been able to overcome much of that. As a consequence of working some of your own reforms and the problems associated with the alleged espionage that have gone on, there were a number of other problems associated with that and that was problems that were generated with the Asian Pacific American community, and then you worked on that issue, as well, and you have instituted a number of reforms in that regard and you have overcome that.
Then in addition to that issue, now you are faced with the creation of this semi-autonomous unit inside of the Department of Energy. I guess you are more interested in the semi and some members of the committee are more interested in the autonomous. As we listened to the discussion and the debate on dual-hatting, I am constantly amazed because everyplace that I have gone to as a member of this committee, invariably, I run intoespecially inside DODdual-hatted positions.
I mean, it is kind of an ordinary phenomenon, and every time we look at flow charts and we look at the responsibilities of people in carrying out those duties, we know that there are many what would appear to some people would be perhaps conflicting responsibilities, but as we peel away the covers, they are simply kind of administrative responsibilities. They are kind of part and parcel of the nature of the service.
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You have outlined, and now they have identified some 18 positions that are going to be dual-hatted. It appears to be a small number, but these 18 positions could be critical, as well. You talked about some of them being in civil rights enforcement and contracting and the General Counsel. Now, are any of the other positions that you have that are dual-hatted that people could interpret it as security-sensitive, something that perhaps the kinds of positions that should not be dual-hatted, and could you speak to that issue, or are you relatively comfortable that all of them could be dual-hatted?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. On the security-sensitive question, I think the positions we have talked about, the Director of Security Affairs and the counterintelligence position we talked about, actually, I think, are probably the extent of it. We have got, as I mentioned, the field managers, who at these area offices or field sites have staff there who are carrying out security functions and are carrying out the programs and are responsible to the NNSA for that, and for that portion of their job, they are dual-hatted.
We have one position in emergency operations, for example, which is going to manage some of the emergency response activities that are used in case of a nuclear accident, a nuclear emergency, and that function will report to the defense programs, which is part of the NNSA. That person is General McBroom, who will be dual-hatted to be able to manage that function so that it is managed in a way coordinated with our other emergency response activities, because he manages the other emergency functions for the Department which are not part of NNSA. We want to have those done consistently.
Secretary RICHARDSON. I thank the Congressman. I think you have centered what is key here, security and counterintelligence position. And, by the way, I have a letter here that I would like to insert for the record. The National Counterintelligence Policy Board, the Chairman, Neil Gallagher, basically is saying the creation of a separate Chief of Defense, Nuclear Counterintelligence, with parallel functions would undermine the significant progress already made under PDD61.
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[The letter from Mr. Gallagher was not provided for the record.]
Secretary RICHARDSON. So for every letter from individuals that you haveI guess my fundamental question here is, is there somebody better in this country than Gene Habiger and Ed Curran to do counterintelligence and security at the Department of Energy. I am going to answer it, because the answer is no, and it does not strike me that it makes sense that I should do a nationwide search after we have intensively, for a year, dramatically improved security and counterintelligence and management responsibilities at our facilities across the board, so
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Well, moreover, on top of that is that at its most fundamental level, you are being asked to institute a number of security reforms personally and you are held responsible for them, and at the same time that the Department is being held responsible for them, we are instituting a number of changes in law which seems to obfuscate your authority to do so, and that is something that I think is contradictory. It is inherently contradictory.
But still, it is the law. It still is the law, nevertheless, and certainly for your efforts in instituting these security reforms, they are much welcome and they certainly have put, from my observation, the Department on the right track.
Certainly, again to reiterate, working with the Asian Pacific American community, that is a particularly vital part of this equation, because as we have had the briefings on that, it was pointed out that there was the possibility of experiencing a brain drain from that community, and it is ironic because that community has contributed so much to the security apparatus of this country. Thank you.
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The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Sherwood.
Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, thank you for your time today. It is a very, very important issue that we discuss and I would like to agree with my distinguished colleague from Texas that we need to all work together. But a personal observation on this. It seems to me that dual-hatting is a dumb term for a confusing policy. You were only talking about 18 people out of 2,000, and maybe you could convince us to work it down to less than half of that, so that would be less than half of one percent, and I do not know of any organization in the Federal Government that could not do with half of one percent reduction in personnel if you have to shift them around. So I just think that you have taken us on about an issue that maybe we should get beyond so that we can work together and get these problems solved.
It all falls together to me with national security, and I think our national security is about to be damaged by the oil crisis, also. I think our policy sort of hung the Northeast out to dry all winter, and now I am very concerned that the budget projections for the whole military services were based on fuel savings and we are going to have very strongly increased fuel costs. I think that will impact our national security almost as much as the problems that we are talking about with the labs.
So I would like if you could take a moment to tell us what you have in mind to keep a spike that happened in the Northeast from happening again. I heard your very encouraging remarks about Norway and Mexico and I think that is good, but what are we doing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil?
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Secretary RICHARDSON. Congressman, we are right now encouraged by the news, as I said, that Venezuela, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia made an announcement this morning that they would increase production, and that is very positive. OPEC meets again in late March and we believe that they will ratify this decision made by these three countries that account for 20 percent of the world output. So I think our energy diplomacy has been working.
We also are looking at the short-term problems that your region has experienced. Home heating oil, the President has the three quickest releases of funds under the Low-Income Energy Assistance Programs, close to $300 million. He has asked for a supplemental of $600 million. We are asking for a supplemental of increases in weatherization funds, $19 million.
For your region, too, Congressman, we are looking at a 60-day study that looks at alternatives to home heating oil, such as natural gas pipelines, and I know your region could certainly use some of that clean energy. We are looking at loans, emergency loans to home heating oil operators, to loggers, to truck drivers, to those that have, I think, had serious problems. We are looking at improving the transportation of the home heating oil to the Northeast. Specifically, the Coast Guard is giving priority to vessel traffic that brings the home heating oil. We have asked refiners to postpone maintenance to get the home heating oil more rapidly.
But I think that the key has been, tooyou asked, how do we reduce our reliance on imported oil? Conservation measures, recognizing that we have to deal with consumption problems, developing more fuel-efficient cars, more research across the board in alternative energy, but also in areas that I know are important to you, coal research, clean coal technology, petroleum recovery techniques.
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Our budget, Congressman, if you look at it, the Department of Energy has an all-inclusive energy strategy that tries to address some of the very important questions that you have asked me.
Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you very much. All those efforts will certainly help the people in the Northeast that have been hurt by this, but we know it was a temporary shortage of supply that caused the very damaging spikes and I think you had it in your power to tell the markets that you could cure that supply by at least threatening to release the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPRO) for a little while and we did not do that and I think that was a lost opportunity.
Mr. THORNBERRY. [presiding.] Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Richardson, I want to ask a related question to that. I remember asking the question last year when oil was around $12 a barrel, why did we not take advantage of that cheap oil to fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? What I am asking this year is in your budget request, did you
Secretary RICHARDSON. Yes, we did.
Mr. TAYLOR. or have you ever asked for some funds to set aside that, should the price of oil go down again, that we could take advantage of that situation, because as you know, the price of oil has been somewhat of a roller coaster for the past six or seven years.
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Secretary RICHARDSON. Now, Congressman, just for the record, a year ago, we did ask and we took advantage of low oil prices to replenish the reserve. We replenished it with a goal of 28 million additional barrels. We have got ten million in there now through what is called the RIC program, an exchange program with the Department of Interior. So we did take that step to replenish the SPRO and a lot of it is in Louisiana. Well, it is in Louisiana and Texas.
Second, you probably have just given me a good idea that maybe this is a time when we ought to think about again fortifying the SPRO. I will certainly consider that. But we did take that step to fill it up and we did take steps in a joint program with the Department of Interior and almost half of that has been fulfilled.
Mr. TAYLOR. That is my only question, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Secretary, thank you for being here. I also think you have done a great job in having inherited an agency that has had a problem for many decades, and unfortunately, sometimes we forget that.
There are a couple of things that come to my mind, Mr. Chairman, in that one of the fundamental principles of good management is when you are holding an individual responsible and accountable, you have got to give that individual also the authority and the ability to do oversight. I think that is basically, from what I have seen here this afternoon and what I have seen previously with the Secretary, I think that is basically one of the things that he is objecting to. In his eyes, he is not given the authority and the oversight responsibility.
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There are a couple of things that come to my mind and there is a lot that has been said and made of this dual-hat issue this afternoon, but let me tell you, in my experience in government in 26-and-a-half years, including 12 years as a chief having responsibility for over 900 employees, dual-hat responsibility was a good management principle and a good sound economic way of dealing with many different things.
I made myself a list of the things that I had some of my officers do in a dual-hat responsibility. They were equal opportunity, safety, recruitment, security, community outreach, other agency liaison, contract compliance, and the list goes on and on. This is not something that somebody schemes to do. It is something that is looked upon as a good sound management principle that allows you to give the oversight to some of these issues that otherwise you would not have the ability to give oversight and make people accountable.
So I do not understand really what the big issue is in terms of dual-hat responsibility for the employees. The fact that it is a couple of handsful of people is also something that I think is somewhat of a puzzlement.
But, Mr. Secretary, the question I have is given that the threat in today's world, the concerns that we have for terrorists and rogue nations, which obviously is a big concern for us in light of the fact that we are dealing with the capabilities of North Korea, Iran, Iraq in the next few years to deliver weapons of mass destruction or be able to infiltrate the borders of this country, I am kind of curious, do you think this Title XXXII helps or hinders your ability to address that specific threat as it relates to the Department of Energy?
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary RICHARDSON. Congressman, I do not see a problem. I would still have policy authority. This is the nonproliferation area. We have a very able person named Rose Gottemoeller who is in charge of those programs and we have expanded threat reduction programs that involve some of the countries you mentioned. We have an extensive program with Russia. But I believeand, by the way, General Gordon is an expert on Russia and arms control and these weapons of mass destruction and I have full confidence in him. He is a first-rate individual, a first-rate officer, and I do not see any problems with Title XXXII having any adverse ability of us to run a sound Department on that.
Mr. REYES. Do you have any specific changes to it that would make you more effective, more efficient, perhaps even more comfortable in terms of the problems that, again, have existed within the agency for literally decades?
Secretary RICHARDSON. I would say the delegation of authority that I mentioned to Congressman Ortiz and others, I believe that is the only change that I need. And then, eventually, as this agency starts moving and functioningI signed all the papers yesterday, the transfer took place yesterday, that if there is some budgetary request to make sure that it functions properly, that you favorably consider these.
Mr. REYES. The last thing, I want to switch gears to an energy issue. As you know, we have been wrestling to get the Longhorn pipeline authorized to deliver product to the El Paso market and we are still facing some delays. In the near future, can I get with you and ask your help to get that resolved? That directly ties into what some of my colleagues have said about the high cost of gasoline to markets such as the one in El Paso.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary RICHARDSON. Certainly. I will look into that, Congressman.
Mr. REYES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you. Mr. Snyder.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, we appreciate you and your staff being here today.
I do not really have a question today. I have one for the record, I think, although I am a little bit hesitant to say for the record because I think sometimes that gets interpreted as the historical record and we might see it in a few months down the line.
I think it was referred to earlier, this scorecard here, and I do not even think you all had a chance to see it. It might be helpful if you or your staff would look at this and give your own scorecard on how you see things in a timely fashion in the next week or two.
As I look at it, we have the reds meaning not in compliance. There are 13 reds. Five of them deal with this dual-hatting thing, which I think is essentially quintuple hatting when you count the same thing five times. Four of them have to do with our personnel matters, as an example, provides authority for early retirement for DOE employees. Perhaps you all have not done anything about that yet, but that is not exactly the kind of red flag that I think the American people are concerned about when it comes to security. That is four of them. So it might be helpful for you all to go section by section and get that information back to us in a timely away.
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Thank you again for your work and for being here today.
Secretary RICHARDSON. We will submit that for the record, Congressman, soon.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Ms. Tauscher.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, congratulations on General Gordon. I think he is an excellent choice. I do agree that the President should get him to the Senate as quickly as possible and get him confirmed as quickly as possible. I think it is a great choice and you have done an unbelievable job over the last 15 months, is your tenure, I think, of putting together a great team that has, I think, done a very good job of making sure that our security secrets are protected. You did not inherit the prettiest picture and I think you have done a good job about it.
I do think that, although we do not agree on some of these things, that I do not want to mislead people and have people believe that the 18 dual-hats that we are talking about of the 2,000 jobs are employees number 1,151 and 1,726 and 1,922. In fact, five or six of the 18 are actually the very top leaders of the new organization and that is my concern. It is not that you are not allowed to have some people that are dual-hatted on some of these boards, but in effect, some of these people are very, very key players in the success of this agency and I do not want people thinking that just 18 people out of 2,000 is a de minimis number, because the truth is that these are very significant players in the success of this.
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But I was interested in your comment on the National Ignition Facility. The National Ignition Facility, I think, is something that you support very well, is that not true?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Congresswoman, I am getting a report on future baseline for the NIF facility, I think it is this weektomorrow. I think it would be premature for me to tell you what the results of the decisions I will make on the re-baselining study, but we are going to re-baseline it. I have been very concerned about the management of that facility and I know you are, too. The new budget numbers are going to await the results of this study.
I think there are also a number of officials that need to be held accountable by this management disaster that occurred there. I do think the science is sound and I want to make the project work, but I have got to tell you, the more I get into what happened, what was not done, who communicated with whom, it is the model of how not to do business.
Ms. TAUSCHER. I could not agree with you more, but how does that affect the science and the technology? Is not the NIF the cornerstone of the Stockpile Stewardship program? Are we able to not test our stockpile without the NIF? Is that not the reason that we believe that the Comprehensive Test Ban is the right policy?
Secretary RICHARDSON. It is an important component of the Stockpile Stewardship program, and it is good science. Here, bad management has overtaken good science. Now, there is a new management structure.
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Ms. TAUSCHER. Yes.
Secretary RICHARDSON. I am looking at it, but I do not want this to ever happen again. I mean, we may have to stretch out this program, whereas I said re-baselining it. This is why we did not submit it in the budget submission this year. You know, Livermore was delinquent in reporting to me, to DOE, their cost and schedule overruns. They just did not do it. They managed the project poorly. I mean, this was stated by the University of California.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, I could not agree more, Mr. Secretary, but what does that have to do with the efficacy of the NIF? I mean, at some level, I could not agree more with you that this project has been plagued by mismanagement and that there are clear but undefined cost overruns. But are you supporting the NIF?
Secretary RICHARDSON. I want to reform NIF. I will not support a NIF the way it was done last year.
Ms. TAUSCHER. No one will.
Secretary RICHARDSON. I will talk to you about it. I am going to be very tough with them. I want a project that I can come to this committee and say, it is a Stockpile Stewardship project that is being run well. It is a good science Stockpile Stewardship program, but it has not been run well and I want to make sure it is.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. TAUSCHER. Conceding that it has not been run well, I just do not want to get wrapped around the axle about the fact that the NIF is a very important and fundamental piece of our Stockpile Stewardship program and that we need to have it. Do you agree?
Secretary RICHARDSON. We need a well-managed NIF. A badly-managed NIF is not in the national interest, and they are related. You cannot separate the management from the science. This is
Ms. TAUSCHER. But you have gone a long way to fix the management of the NIF. There is a new team in there. You said that yourself. Assuming that the management issues surrounding the NIF can be fixed and should be fixed, you are for NIF?
Secretary RICHARDSON. If the science is right
Ms. TAUSCHER. Your own advisory board said the science is right.
Secretary RICHARDSON. The science is right. I just want to be sure the management is right, and I am not sure. I may have an answer for you very soon.
Ms. TAUSCHER. I look forward to working with you on that, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Ms. Sanchez.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Secretary, as usual, it is great to have you in front of us.
Let me just remind my colleagues here on the committee that last year, when we had the report by President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) with Senator Rudman before us testifying that I asked the question about the work that our Secretary had been doing with respect to working on fixing the problem of leaks and safety and counterintelligence and that former Senator Rudman had said that one of the reasons in the report and one of the reasons for the report and one of the reasons in wanting to set up a structure is that he was afraid that Mr. Richardson may not be here in three years, that you had done such a good job as an individual working on this situation that he just wanted to make sure there was something in place in case you went on to bigger and better things and might not be around.
So first of all, thanks for still being around, considering the problem that you inherited. And second, I think that coming from Senator Rudman and the fact that he is from or was from the other side, I guess still is, acknowledges that you have done a good job, given the situation that you have, and I just wanted to remind my colleagues of those words from Mr. Rudman.
I guess I have a different kind of opinion. This dual-hatting and everything does not really both me because I have seen it in many places, not just government, corporations. In fact, we all wear all sorts of different hats depending on what time of the day it is and what day of the year it is.
But Mr. Secretary, when we were going through the first press releases and understanding and more information was coming forward about what was actually happening at some of these labs and a breach of confidence, if you will, with respect to everything, there was an alarming issue about how we have these highly intelligent, very scientifically-minded individuals who work in the entire area of the Department of Energy and, in fact, in the labs and how they felt about added security measures and more probing into their lives and the added hassle of all of this security, not just the initial clearance but every day ongoing monitoring and all the changes that, in fact, you and your team were implementing.
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Because security begins really with the philosophy or the way the people who are actually going through this feel, my question to you is, having gone through a change in the way you monitor people and information and what is happening with respect to these employees that we are talking about, what is therebecause I had seen some press information about the reluctance of more encroachment, really, on them on a daily basis, how are the employees that we are talking about feeling about the security measures placed in, the extra monitoring, you know, and this whole issue of an extra agency, in a sense, looking at what they are doing?
Secretary RICHARDSON. Congresswoman, my assessment is that lab employees, they have not been unanimously for the new security procedures. I visited many of these labs, many of these facilities. A lot of these employees are very patriotic, security-oriented. I cannot honestly, though, say to you that when I said we are going to have polygraphs for those that deal with nuclear weapons, when I said there is going to be a security czar that may institute badges and new cyber security procedures and new procedures on foreign scientists, background checks, and new ways of ensuring that, especially in the cyber security area, because that was our big gap, that there are going to be changes, there was dissention.
A lot of these lab employees, there had been a culture where security was not a priority. This is why we took the steps we did. Now security is a priority, but now we have reached the point where we have very strong security procedures. Now we have to emphasize the science and the research. We have to tilt the balance. The last year, it has been big-time in terms of security, and so you want to tilt it back to science, to get a good balance, because there have been instances in some of your labs in your State where some of these lab employees, very valuable individuals, have been leaving because of concerns about security. We need to recruit and retain personnel.
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It is better now, Congresswoman. There is no longer a culture of lax security. That has ended. So now we are in the post-dissention phase, still a little dissention. You know, we are now going to be polygraphing about 1,000 employees at our nuclear weapons labs. That still is not popular, but I think we have to do it. Other agencies do it. It is a security procedure that is not perfect, but it is a valuable tool. I have taken these polygraphs. I do not think it is such a big thing. We are restricting them to those with nuclear weapons contact. It is not lifestyle. It is not intrusive.
But it is better now. Lab employees, I think, are accepting these. We still have some kinks, for instance, in some of the non-research nuclear weapons research labs, Stanford, others. Some of the scientists that do unclassified work, I think rightly so, have said, we should not be treated the way you treat someone at Los Alamos. So we are looking at ways to make sure that we are not stymieing scientific research in areas where we do unclassified work. Nevertheless, at those labs, we do want to improve security, too. But thank you for the nice question and your nice comments.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Well, it starts with the individuals, so if the individuals are still feeling put upon by new measures, then that tends to be a problem. I think just about the security here in the Capitol, and you used to be a Congress member here, so you know how some walk beyond the security measures and never give it a thought. But if we had to go through and do what we are supposed to do every single day, it would slow us down in our jobs, also.
So that is of a concern to me, how people are feeling within the labs, because retention, as you know, in an extreme labor market, a competitive labor market, and with respect to all of the technology that is going on at private companies is a concern when you are looking at some of these labs.
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I have one last question for you. Do you feel thatI want you to talk a little bit about the confusion level, about what your top people with respect to these security issues feel. Do you feel that they, today, are confused about what they should report and who they should report the information to? Getting back to this whole issue of is this a semi-autonomous relationship, is it something that really is reporting back to you, do you think that the people, the top 50 people between this semi- and the Department of Energy and anybody else, do you think that in today's world they would have a problem notifying the right person about something going wrong?
Secretary RICHARDSON. No, and I think, Congresswoman, the fact that our counterintelligence people and our security people are in charge of security at all the complexes answers your question. We have centralized security and emergency operations into one office. We have also created an Office of Independent Oversight that has basically given a lot of the labs' security programs and practices what is called a green rating, which basically states that the security components are working.
Sure, there are improvements that are needed. But right now, with Edward Curran as head of counterintelligence, an ex-FBI man, and he has put staff in each of the facilities at each of the labs, counterintelligence staff. We have increased his budget from $5 million to $45 million. In terms of our security czar, we have established a central computer facility, integrated a lot of classified and unclassified security programs. Then this Office of Independent Oversight has basically graded the labs and graded the facilities as dramatically improving their security. So I do not think there is confusion now, and with the double-hatting, I do not think there will be confusion at all.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you. My last question for you, very quickly, if you found that the way you are trying to implement the desire of this committee, in particular, because as you know, the push came from this committee to have what you are working with as far as the outline, if you found that the way you are implementing it is not working, do you feel that you would come back to this committee and talk about what improvements need to be made or how this law needs to be changed or what we can do to make it easier to do the right thing with respect to security at the labs?
Secretary RICHARDSON. I would come back to this committee, but Congresswoman, I would ask that this committee give me a chance to make these presentations, because when this language was passed, there were no hearings, there was no markup, it was done in conference, and it was pretty hard. Yes, I had a meeting or two with Congressman Hunter, but that was it. So I would ask the same respect that you have asked me with your question.
Yes, I would come to you, but I would ask the majority and minority of this committee to listen to my concerns. I have planted one specific concern and that is the delegation of authority issue of the Secretary. I think this whole agency would run better if I had that. So I would hope that is considered.
But yes, the answer is yes, and remember, we have only hadwell, it is one day of this double-hatting. It has only happened one day. But as I said, the most important development has been the selection of a top-rate, strong person to run this agency with a great background, and I think that is a very good start.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Mr. Secretary. I have no further questions.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Hill.
Mr. HILL. No questions.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Secretary, let me ask a couple of questions we have not touched on yet. The law requires that the budget to be submitted include a detailed future year budget plan. I understand that did not come up this year. Is that on its way?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Mr. Chairman, the budget that was submitted this year, of course, is a first start at putting the budget together. Not having the full NNSA together, it was not possible to do the whole proposal. We would expect to have a more complete budget in the future. We did have a summary for five years as submitted and we will have to work on that as future budgets go forward.
Secretary RICHARDSON. I think we have to comply with the Office of Management and Budget. The Administration has to comply with that. It is a year-to-year budget.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. And we do submit a five-year set of budget figures. The question is whether we can do a more detailed compilation of that, and
Mr. THORNBERRY. That was the provision that is in the law, as you know, Mr. Glauthier. On a related note, the law also requires the Department to send a budget that has funding available for a limited number of years in the way that the Pentagon does, rather than money that is available until expended. This year's budget did not have that provision. Do you expect that also to be coming?
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Secretary RICHARDSON. I think, Congressman, why do you not let me run the budget, let me run this agency this year. I mean, we have plenty to do without worrying about future long-range budgets. I do not even have a budget for this entity for this year.
I think these are some of the areas that we need to work closer together. You are asking us to take steps in out years when we have got to take steps in the next two weeks. We are talking about one of the biggest bureaucracies in the government. So I would ask you for a little give and take, a little cooperation on how we can work on these things instead ofI have to comply with the White House. The White House, the Office of Management and Budget, we have budget years. We have budget processes and I am going to comply with them.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Secretary, I would also submit that you and the other members of your team have to comply with the law and the law requires certain things. I would also suggest that the thing that we heard most as the panel went to all eight sites in the nuclear weapons complex was the lack of long-range stability, which made it extremely difficult for them to do their job.
I am not trying to give anyone a hard time. I am simply asking some questions based on what the law requires and based upon what we heard, and I hope that as the NNSA gets underway that those folks that you appoint, hopefully General Gordon will be able to put that together and so that the folks out at the labs and the plants can have some stability and go about doing their job, because in my view, what is at stake here is something that is central to the national security of the United States, and sometimes it sounds like we are talking about boxes and budgetary numbers, but we are really talking about how we can best make this work for the national security, and I am sure that that is the only interest that any of the members of this committee have in talking about these issues.
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If there are no other questions, we appreciate your appearance here today and the committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:01 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
March 2, 2000
[The Appendix is pending.]