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Part Number: 970

Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation

970.2201-1-2 Policies.

(a) The extent of Government ownership of the nation's energy plant and materials, and the overriding concerns of national defense and security, impose special conditions on personnel and labor relations in the energy program. Such special conditions include the need for continuity of vital operations at DOE installations; retention by DOE of absolute authority on all questions of security; and DOE review of labor expenses under management and operating contracts as a part of its responsibility for assuring judicious expenditure of public funds. It is the intent of DOE that personnel and labor policies throughout the energy program reflect the best experience of American industry in aiming to achieve the type of stable labor-management relations that are essential to the proper development of the energy program. The following enunciates the principles upon which the DOE policy is based:

(1) Employment standards.

(i) Management and operating contractors are expected to bring experienced, proven personnel from their private operations to staff key positions on the contract and to recruit other well-qualified personnel as needed. Such personnel should be employed and treated during employment without discrimination by reason of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin. Contractors shall be required to take affirmative action to achieve these objectives.

(ii) The Contractor must conduct a thorough review, as defined at 904.401, of an uncleared applicant's or uncleared employee's background, and test the individual for illegal drugs, as part of its determination to select that individual for a position requiring a DOE access authorization.

(A) A review must - Verify an uncleared applicant's or uncleared employee's educational background, including any high school diploma obtained within the past five years, and degrees or diplomas granted by an institution of higher learning; contact listed employers for the last three years and listed personal references; conduct local law enforcement checks when such checks are not prohibited by state or local law or regulation and when the uncleared applicant or uncleared employee resides in the jurisdiction where the contractor is located; and conduct a credit check and other checks as appropriate.

(B) Contractor reviews are not required for an applicant for DOE access authorization who possesses a current access authorization from DOE or another federal agency, or whose access authorization may be reapproved without a federal background investigation pursuant to Executive Order 12968, Access to Classified Information (August 4, 1995), Sections 3.3(c) and (d).

(C) In collecting and using this information to make a determination as to whether it is appropriate to select an uncleared applicant or uncleared employee for a position requiring an access authorization, the contractor must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, including those -

(1) Governing the processing and privacy of an individual's information by employers, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; and

(2) Prohibiting discrimination in employment, such as under the ADA, Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, including with respect to pre- and post-offer of employment disability related questioning.

(iii) In addition to a review, each candidate for a DOE access authorization must be tested to demonstrate the absence of any illegal drug, as defined in 10 CFR 707.4. All positions requiring access authorizations are deemed testing designated positions in accordance with 10 CFR part 707. All employees possessing access authorizations are subject to applicant, random or for cause testing for use of illegal drugs. DOE will not process candidates for a DOE access authorization unless their tests confirm the absence of any illegal drug.

(iv) When an uncleared applicant or uncleared employee is hired specifically for a position that requires a DOE access authorization, the contractor shall not place that individual in that position prior to the access authorization being granted by DOE, unless an approval has been obtained from the contracting officer, acting in consultation for these purposes with the head of the cognizant local security office. If an uncleared employee is placed in that position prior to an access authorization being granted by the contracting officer, the uncleared employee may not be afforded access to classified information or matter or special nuclear material (in categories requiring access authorization) until the contracting officer notifies the employer that an access authorization has been granted.


(A) The contractor must furnish to the head of the cognizant local DOE Security Office, in writing, the following information concerning each uncleared applicant or uncleared employee who is selected for a position requiring an access authorization -

(1) The date(s) each review was conducted;

(2) Each entity contacted that provided information concerning the individual;

(3) A certification that the review was conducted in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, including those governing the processing and privacy of an individual's information collected during the review;

(4) A certification that all information collected during the review was reviewed and evaluated in accordance with the contractor's personnel policies; and

(5) The results of the test for illegal drugs.

When a DOE access authorization will be required, the aforementioned review must be conducted and the required information forwarded to DOE before a request is made to DOE to process the individual for an access authorization.

(vi) Management and operating contractors and other contractors operating DOE facilities shall include the requirements set forth in this subsection in subcontracts (appropriately modified to identify the parties) wherein subcontract employees will be required to hold DOE access authorizations in order to perform on-site duties, such as protective force operations.

(2) Security. On all matters of security at its facilities, DOE retains absolute authority and neither the regulations and policies pertaining to security, nor their administration, are matters for collective bargaining between the contractor's management and labor. Insofar as DOE security regulations affect the collective bargaining process, the security policies and regulations will be made known to both parties. To the fullest extent feasible, DOE will consult with representatives of the contractor's management and labor when formulating security regulations and policies that may affect the collective bargaining process.

(3) Wages, salaries, and employee benefits. (i) Wages, salaries, and employee benefits shall be administered in a manner designated to adapt the normal practices and conditions of industry or institutions of higher education to the contract work, and to provide for appropriate review by DOE. Area practices, valid patterns, and well-established commercial or academic practices of the contractors, as appropriate, form the criteria for the establishment and adjustment of compensation schedules.

(ii) The aspects of wages, hours, and working conditions which are the substance of collective bargaining in normal organized industries will be left to the orderly processes of negotiation and agreement between DOE contractor management and employee representatives with maximum possible freedom from Government interference.

(4) Employee relations. The handling of employee relations on contract work, including such matters as the conduct and discipline of the work force and the handling of employee grievances, is part of the normal management responsibility of the contractor.

(5) Collective bargaining. (i) DOE review of collective bargaining practices will be premised on the view that management's trusteeship for the operation of the Government facilities includes the duty to adopt practices which are fundamental to the friendly adjustment of disputes, and which experience has shown, promote orderly collective bargaining relationships. Practices inconsistent with this view may be objected to if not found to be otherwise clearly warranted.

(ii) Consistent with the policy of assuring continuity of operation of vital facilities, all collective bargaining agreements at DOE-owned facilities should provide that grievances and disputes involving the interpretation or application of the agreement will be settled without resorting to strike, lockout, or other interruption of normal operations. For this purpose, each collective bargaining agreement entered into during the period of performance of this contract should provide an effective grievance procedure with arbitration as its final step, unless the parties mutually agree upon some other method of assuring continuity of operation for the term of the collective bargaining agreement.

(iii) DOE expects its management and operating contractors and the unions representing the contractor's employees to cooperate fully with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

(6) Personnel training. DOE encourages and supports personnel training programs aimed at improving work efficiency or developing needed skills which are not otherwise obtainable.

(7) Working conditions. Accident, fire, health, and occupational hazards associated with DOE activities will be held to a practical minimum level and controlled in the interest of maintenance of health and prevention of accidents. Subject to DOE control, contractors shall be required to maintain comprehensive continuous preventive and protective programs appropriate to the particular activities throughout all operations. Appropriate financial protection in case of occupational disability must be provided to employees on DOE projects.

(b) Title to payroll and associated records under certain contracts for the management and operation of DOE facilities, and for necessary miscellaneous construction incidental to the function of these facilities, shall vest in the Government. Such records are to be disposed of in accordance with DOE directions. For such contracts, the Solicitor of Labor has granted a tolerance from the Department of Labor Regulations to omit from the prescribed labor clauses the requirement for the retention of payrolls and associated records for a period of three years after completion of the contract. Under this tolerance, the records retention requirements for all labor clauses in the contract and the Fair Labor Standards Act are satisfied by disposal of such records in accordance with applicable DOE directives.