WASHINGTON , DC - The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking comments on a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the competitive selection of a management and operating (M&O) contractor for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), a major DOE Office of Science single program research facility located on 6,800 acres approximately 45 miles west of Chicago, Illinois.
Fermilab is a DOE Office of Science high-energy physics laboratory with an annual budget of about $315 million. Fermilab’s mission is to advance the understanding of the fundamental nature of matter and energy by providing leadership and resources for qualified researchers to conduct research at the frontiers of high-energy physics and related disciplines. Approximately 2,500 scientists from 230 universities and laboratories in 35 states and 30 countries carry out research at the “energy frontier,” the highest energy environment for discovery of particle physics in the world.
Fermilab operates user facilities that include the Tevatron, the world’s highest energy particle accelerator, the MiniBooNE, a neutrino oscillation experiment, and NuMI/MINOS, a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment. In addition, Fermilab is the Host Laboratory for U.S. participation in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Compact Muon Solenoid detector, construction of certain LHC accelerator components, and the U.S. LHC Accelerator Research Program.
The draft RFP includes provisions to facilitate competition, encourage superior science, and achieve excellent management performance. For example:
* The successful offeror will be required to form a stand-alone corporate entity to manage and operate the laboratory, as opposed to a single parent institution or firm. Following the model of other recent M&O contract selections, this will serve to clarify lines of responsibility and accountability under the new agreement.
* The contract includes “award-term” provisions to permit extension of the resulting contract for incremental periods up to 15 years beyond the initial five-year term as an incentive for superior performance.
* The new contract will include a newly developed Laboratory Performance Appraisal Process, which is intended to enhance performance management, bring increased emphasis on effective operations and improved results at Office of Science laboratories, and link performance appraisal to the contract’s award-term provisions. This new appraisal process is expected to bring greater comparability, consistency, and transparency to performance reviews, better tailor incentives to motivate contractor performance and generate more useful information for DOE management decisions.
* The RFP contains provisions requiring the new contractor to retain the current workforce with the exception of the specified top-level positions.
The draft RFP describes the criteria DOE will use in selecting a successful future contractor. Key criteria include the potential contractor’s management strategy and approach to achieving excellence in both world-class scientific research and development, as well as in operations and business management; key personnel, including the proposed laboratory director; experience and past performance in both science and business management; strategy for fulfilling DOE’s mission for the laboratory; offeror’s involvement/resources; and proposed transition plan.
The draft RFP is available to interested parties on the DOE e-Commerce web site: http://e-center.doe.gov/. In addition, an information library regarding the solicitation is available on the DOE Office of Science web site at http://rfpfnal.sc.doe.gov/ . Comments on the draft RFP, suggested changes to the draft contract provisions, and questions should be submitted to the “Submit Questions” feature on IIPS by June 5, 2006. Responses to questions and other information about the draft RFP will also be posted to this site.
During the comment period, DOE will conduct one-on-one meetings with prospective offerors. The one-on-one meetings will be held during the week of May 22, 2006, at the DOE Chicago Office, 9800 S. Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL. Specific information on the meetings will be posted on the e-Commerce web site listed above.
Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940
Sandra Geib, (630) 252-2420