DOE and local contracting

It seems like I’ve been hearing more grumbling lately from local companies who do business with the Department of Energy or aspire to be a DOE contractor.

Earlier this year, Consolidated Nuclear Security confirmed that it was changing its strategy on office supplies, with Y-12 and Pantex — both managed by CNS — to be part of a DOE-wide agreement that reportedly puts more leverage on suppliers and brings down costs. That change, however, meant that an Oak Ridge company will no longer provide the next-day delivery of office supplies to Y-12, a contract that had been held for 20 years — although another local company will be a distributor under the new agreement.

Also, DOE’s recently announced Oak Ridge contract awards to a company in Massachusetts and another in Alaska generated some talk about whether DOE’s Oak Ridge ops were supporting local companies.

Asked to comment on DOE’s perspective on local contracting, John Shewairy, the federal agency’s assistant manager for administration in Oak Ridge, provided this statement:

“The focus of our procurement activities is to always seek the best value for the taxpayer. The Oak Ridge Office is proud of its long history of supporting small businesses, many of which are located in the region. Our commitment to small business contracting will continue to provide local companies with opportunities to provide services to the Oak Ridge Office.”

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.