Science and Technology:

DOE's Laboratory Facilities

RCED-96-183R: Published: Jun 26, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on 28 Department of Energy's (DOE) laboratories, focusing on: (1) their age and condition; and (2) the backlog of facility renovation and upgrade projects; and (3) the funding available for these projects. GAO noted that: (1) 62 percent of the floor space at DOE laboratories is more than 26 years old; (2) five DOE multiprogram laboratories will need at least 50 percent of their floor space rehabilitated or replaced; (3) substandard facilities have affected certain laboratories' compliance with regulatory requirements, reduced their research capability, or increased their operating costs; (4) DOE laboratories estimate that they will need $1.3 billion to renew and upgrade their general infrastructure; (5) funding for general plant and multiprogram renewal projects in fiscal year 1995 totalled about $80 million; and (6) DOE could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its laboratory facilities by realigning, consolidating, or closing those laboratory facilities considered less important for fulfilling DOE research and development missions, while increasing funding for those facilities considered essential.

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