Each year, the Office of Science (SC) conducts an evaluation of the scientific, technological, managerial and operational performance of the contractors who manage and operate its ten national laboratories. These evaluations provide the basis for determining annual performance fees and the possibility of winning additional years on the contract through an “Award Term” extension. They also serve to inform the decisions the Department of Energy (DOE) makes regarding whether to extend or to compete the management and operating contracts when they expire.
The current laboratory appraisal process has been in place since Fiscal Year 2006. It was designed to improve the transparency of the process, raise the level of involvement by the SC leadership, increase consistency in the way the laboratories are evaluated, and more effectively incentivize contractor performance by tying performance to fee earned, contract length and the public release of grades.
The Office of Laboratory Policy and Evaluation coordinates the laboratory appraisal process on behalf of the Director of the Office of Science.