Hanford contractor gets 92% of max pay

Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 20, 2014 

The Department of Energy has awarded Mission Support Alliance 92 percent of the maximum pay possible for fiscal year 2013, according to documents released Thursday.

It earned almost $19.4 million of about $21 million available for providing support services sitewide at the Hanford nuclear reservation by meeting or exceeding most of DOE's goals and objectives for the year.

"MSA continued to demonstrate vision and leadership in finding ways to achieve cost savings while providing the support required by the other Hanford contractors," Matt McCormick, manager of the DOE Hanford Richland Operations Office, said in a letter to the contractor.

Performance pay is split into two payments.

Mission Support Alliance received 96 percent of the possible pay for completing specific projects, or about $12.1 million, and a rating of "excellent." It received 86 percent of the possible pay, or about $7.2 million, and a rating of "very good" in subjective analyses of its performance for categories such as customer service to DOE and other Hanford contractors.

Its ratings for fiscal 2013 were slightly better than for fiscal 2012, when it earned 90 percent of the maximum pay, including 94 percent of possible pay for specific projects and 80 percent of possible pay for subjective analyses.

MSA continued in 2013 to develop innovations and efficiencies to save significant tax dollars, according to DOE.

It has worked to consolidate and standardize services, said Rae Weil, MSA spokeswoman.

One push in 2013 was to work with other contractors to study the buildings in use and to identify opportunities to move Hanford staff out of costly facilities, such as older buildings that require more maintenance, into already available and more cost-efficient facilities. The study also considered how to reduce the footprint of office and other space in use.

MSA also worked to make training for employees across Hanford universal, no matter which contractor employed them, Weil said. That prevents the need for retraining when workers change contractors.

MSA expanded the use of a computer system that relies on the cloud and small computer desktop components called "thin clients" that communicate with a centralized server. Information no longer is stored or processed on personal computers with the new system.

The new system reduces hardware costs, improves energy efficiency and provides better cybersecurity.

MSA also developed new service agreements for services it provides for other Hanford contractors to manage resources such as employees and equipment efficiently, according to DOE.

DOE liked MSA's work to improve collaboration with Hanford contractors by holding monthly forums with their senior managers to review financial and contractual issues and issues that required different contractors to work together.

The meetings helped improve the other contractors' trust in the results of analyses and recommendations presented by MSA to DOE, according to review documents released by DOE.

DOE praised MSA's work with DOE's nationwide safety system for environmental cleanup, the Integrated Safety Management System, and its safety expectation for its subcontractors.

MSA received Stars of Excellence from DOE's safety program, the Voluntary Protection Program, for its safety and security program, its support services organization and for the HAMMER training center.

MSA had no significant deficiencies. However, DOE has instructed it to continue integrating training and consolidating facilities to reduce operating costs. It also should focus on a timely submittal of a complete annual audit of costs charged to DOE, according to DOE.

"We look forward to continuing to work with MSA in right-sizing the Hanford site infrastructure, improving sitewide safety and, overall, driving for safe and cost effective cleanup," McCormick said in his letter.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @HanfordNews

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