|May 15 - 17, 2001|
|Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Challenge of Research Oversight|
|Wednesday, May 16, 2001 (4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)|
The purpose of the breakout session was to examine approaches to effective oversight of research that provides both latitude for the researcher and assures protection of the researcher, co-workers, public, and environment. Some of the salient considerations of research oversight are that involved are:
The intended outcome was a better appreciation of differences to consider in a research environment from a production environment by Facility Representatives (FRs), a broadening of the FRs oversight tool inventory, and feedback for future considerations for the FR program related to enhancing and maintaining research oversight competency. Presentations covered oversight activities at 4 major sites (3 SC sites and 1 NNSA site):
Jerry Conley, Manager of Oak Ridge Operations Jefferson Lab (J-Lab) Site Office (JSO), led off with
with his description of the concept of Operational Awareness (OA) at J-Lab, a relatively small
site (~500 employees) with a small site staff. OA consists of 5 modules:
This results in all JSO staff having some responsibility for maintaining awareness of activities in their functional areas. At least 4 of 7 people nominally perform some duties normally classified as FR duties (at JSO these individuals are called: “Surveillance Reps.”)
John Houck, an FR at Chicago Operations Argonne Area Office-East, then explained the CH-AAO-E FR program and the unusual challenges of performing oversight of the R&D activities at “User Facilities.” He described several user facilities and pointed out that “users” from academia, industry and other laboratories will not have the depth of training of Argonne employees and so there is the special challenge of assuring the receive adequate training to perform their specific research activity safely.
Dave Osugi, an individual assigned as a “surveillance rep” at the SC Stanford Site Office (SC-SSO) presented the SSO approach to oversight, maintaining operational awareness and their implementation of ISM. The SSO surveillance rep serves as lead and subject matter experts supplement the oversight and help to facilitate effective implementation of Performance Based Management at the site. Examples of the ESH performance indicators tracked and their charting for trends were included to illustrate the focus on performance. Further, SSO has initiated joint quarterly ISM reviews of site activities to assess effectiveness in work planning and execution which, in tern, is fed into the scoring for the annual contract performance.
Michele Bruns, NNSA Albuquerque Kirtland Area Office, presented information on the KAO oversight challenges at Sandia Laboratory sites in Albuquerque, AZ and Livermore, CA.FRs: Johnnie Nevarez, Gary Schmidtke, Bob Houck, and Jeff Irwin assisted her in covering the breadth of unusual and unique R&D activities comprising oversight challenges at Sandia.