Energy Department Issues Draft Request for Proposals for Operation of its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for prospective contractors who are interested in competing on a full and open basis to manage and operate DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). PNNL is a world-class multi-program national laboratory located in Richland, Washington, whose mission is to deliver science-based solutions for the nation’s energy, environmental, and security needs.

The draft RFP’s Statement of Work highlights the type of work being performed at PNNL and allows firms to determine if they have the comprehensive knowledge, skills, and capability to meet the overall requirements to provide the intellectual leadership and management of PNNL. DOE expects to award the new performance-based contract in the fall of 2008, which will be followed by a transition period of up to 90 days.

The PNNL contract will be a performance-based, cost-plus-award-fee management and operating contract. The current PNNL contract expires on September 30, 2008; however, the contract contains an option that may extend the contract for up to one additional year, to allow for the competition process.

The draft RFP will be open for comments or questions for 45 days through December 10, 2007. All comments or questions related to the draft RFP should be submitted and will be answered through the DOE Industry Interactive Procurement System. The procurement is being handled by the Office of Science’s Integrated Support Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, whose point of contact can be reached at for further information. Learn additional information about the PNNL RFP process.

Since the mid-1990s, DOE has competed the management and operating (M&O) contracts for its national laboratories to ensure that the taxpayers' investment in the DOE lab complex is allocated wisely and effectively. The PNNL contract competition will ensure the continued sound management of the laboratory facilities and solidify the long-term viability of this world-class lab, integral to America's scientific competitiveness and security. This competition is the first since PNNL’s establishment.

PNNL is currently operated under two contracts: the M&O contract and a parallel contract, known as a use permit. DOE will not continue the separate use permit contract beyond the expiration of DOE’s current contract with Battelle Memorial Institute to manage DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Under the terms and conditions of the use permit contract, Battelle is able to use Laboratory and other resources to pursue work for its own benefit and in direct competition with the private sector. In order to ensure that laboratory resources are dedicated to the public benefit and governmental purposes, this separate contract will not be available to the successor contractor as a result of this competition. DOE’s decision is based generally on the need to foster competition through a “level playing field” and to better align the new PNNL contract with every other DOE management and operating contract. Through the existing Work for Others Program, non-DOE entities will continue to have access to specialized or unique PNNL capabilities.

PNNL is one of DOE’s 17 world-class national laboratories, and performs research for several DOE program offices – including the Office of Science – as well as government agencies, universities, and industry, to deliver breakthrough science and technology. PNNL solves complex problems in energy, national security, life sciences and the environment by advancing the understanding of physics, chemistry, biology and computation. PNNL currently has approximately 4,200 staff members and a 2006 fiscal year business volume of $750 million.

The draft RFP will be available on DOE’s Industry Interactive Procurement System and/or FedBizOpps.

Media contact(s):
Jeff Sherwood, (202) 586-4940
Walter Perry, (865) 576-0885