Energy Department Awards Contract to the University of California to Manage and Operate Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a new five-year contract to the University of California to manage and operate its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The award is the result of the first competition of the management and operating (M&O) contract for the laboratory since its inception.

The value of the new five-year contract is an estimated $2.3 billion. Berkeley Lab’s $469 million annual budget is funded by the department’s Office of Science, other DOE programs, as well as other government agencies and private industry.

“Because of its outstanding work, including 10 Nobel Prizes won by its scientists, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory has helped ensure U.S. scientific leadership for more than 60 years,” Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said. “This contract award will allow LBNL and its outstanding researchers and staff to seamlessly continue their work as they set new standards of scientific excellence.”

The new “award-term” contract contains a number of innovative provisions intended to provide incentives for superior performance. The department may recognize superior performance through phased extensions, beyond the initial five-year term of the contract, for up to a total of 20 years, if the contractor meets performance criteria developed by DOE.

Following a short transition period, the initial contract term will be June 1, 2005 to May 31, 2010. The University of California has operated the laboratory since 1943 for DOE and its predecessors.

The contract award follows the submission of a proposal by The Regents of the University of California in response to DOE’s December 15, 2004, Request for Proposals (RFP). Marvin E. Gunn, Jr., Manager of the Office of Science’s Chicago Office, was the Source Selection Official.

“Our review determined that the proposal by the University of California was responsive to the RFP and that award of the contract was in the best interest of the Government,” Gunn said. “The new and innovative aspects of this agreement and the opportunity to bring its provisions into alignment with DOE’s best M&O contracting practices, demonstrate the value that competing the contract brings to managing this Laboratory.”

This contract award is the first involving a major DOE science laboratory in response to Congressional legislative direction in 2003 to compete five Science and Defense Laboratory M&O contracts that were awarded more than 50 years ago without competition.

LBNL’s missions include basic science and technology development, with no classified programs or facilities. Areas of research include the physical sciences, computing sciences, energy sciences and biosciences.

LBNL’s unique research facilities, which attract scientists from all over the world, include the Advanced Light Source, Biomedical Isotope Facility, National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center and the National Center for Electron Microscopy. The Molecular Foundry, a national nanoscience research center, is currently under construction and is expected to go into full operation in 2006.

Media contact:
Michael Waldron, 202/586-4940
Thomas Welch, 202/586-5806