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The Department of Energy (Department) is responsible for protecting human health and the environment by providing an effective and efficient system that treats, stores, and disposes of Departmental waste. The Department disposes of some of its waste at Envirocare of Utah, Inc., (Envirocare) a commercial treatment and disposal facility in Clive, Utah. The audit objective was to determine whether the Department and its contractors were using the most favorable rates available for the disposal of waste at Envirocare.

We found that the Department's contractors did not always use the most favorable rates available. Although volume discounts were available under Departmentwide contracts, two of the Department's contractors awarded subcontracts to Envirocare with rates that were higher than the Departmentwide rates. This occurred because the Department did no require contractors to use the most favorable rates available. As a result, the Department has incurred unnecessary costs to dispose of contaminated waste. During the audit, one of the contractors reopened negotiations with Envirocare and obtained a lower rate, thereby saving the Department about #3.w million over the next 3 years.

We recommended that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environmental Restoration distribute a list of available Departmentwide contracts and rates and direct field activities to require all contractors to use the most favorable rates available to the Department for the treatment and disposal of waste.

Management concurred with the finding and recommendation and initiated appropriate action to correct the condition disclosed in the report.


Audit Report Number: ER-B-98-05