Berkeley Lab contract to stay with University of California

April 19, 2005
April 20, 2005, 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; Berkeley, CA). The award is the result of the first competition of the management and operating (M&O) contract for the laboratory since its inception. But the University of California was the only bidder for the DOE's December 15, 2004, request for proposal (RFP).

April 20, 2005, 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; Berkeley, CA). The award is the result of the first competition of the management and operating (M&O) contract for the laboratory since its inception. But the University of California was the only bidder for the DOE's December 15, 2004, request for proposal (RFP).

"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," said Marvin E. Gunn, Jr., Manager of the Office of Science's Chicago Office, who was the Source Selection Official. "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 for the contract brings to managing this Laboratory."

One important new focus for LBNL moving forward will be on helping to develop carbon-neutral resources to meet national energy needs, according to laboratory director Steven Chu, who participated by phone in a press conference held in Berkeley, CA, yesterday afternoon while traveling in China. Other envisioned steps include stengthened collaboration with researchers throughout the UC system, such as with biomedical researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

The 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. 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.

The new "award-term" contract contains a number of 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 through May 31, 2010. The University of California has operated the laboratory since 1943 for DOE and its predecessors.

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