The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science (SC)—the lead federal agency supporting fundamental scientific research for energy and the Nation's largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences—has two principal thrusts: direct support of scientific research and direct support of the development, construction, and operation of unique, open-access scientific user facilities, housed at its 10 Office of Science national laboratories.
The SC’s Operations Improvement Committee (OIC), a collaboration of the 10 science laboratories, is charged with enhancing the science research mission through efficient and effective operations. The OIC will take advantage of its collective strength to achieve streamlined operations and to reinvest the savings into research. OIC working groups, launched in 2012, will focus their efforts on operational efficiencies in four key areas: acquisitions optimization, human capital, infrastructure/mission readiness, and information technology.
Acquisition Optimization Working Group
The 10 SC laboratories are projected to spend almost two billion dollars on purchased goods and services during fiscal year 2012. Spending this money wisely and efficiently is the responsibility of a group of highly trained and dedicated procurement professionals across all 10 labs and within the Department. OIC’s Acquisition Optimization Working Group enables these professionals to focus their collective knowledge to identify, explore, and implement improvements in this critical business area.
Human Capital Working Group
The SC laboratories boast one of the most educated, accomplished, and unique workforces assembled anywhere in the world – our mission demands nothing less. Recruiting, training, and retaining a workforce of more than 25,000 professionals requires a significant investment. The Human Capital Working Group identifies ways to deliver this mission-critical workforce in the most cost-efficient way possible.
Infrastructure/Mission Readiness Working Group
Attracting world-class scientists to conduct world-class research demands world-class facilities. The OIC’s Infrastructure/Mission Readiness Working Group, comprising facilities management professionals from across the complex, is exploring strategies to provide the modern laboratory infrastructure needed to deliver the advances in science our Nation requires to remain competitive in the 21st century.
Information Technology Working Group
From science, to finance, to communications, every laboratory depends on information technology for performing world-class science and excellence in operations. The OIC’s Information Technology Working Group, comprised of the Science Laboratory CIO’s, works together to share best practices, and stays abreast of the latest technologies and strategies that will result in more effective and efficient science and operations.