Battelle gets high marks in science

Battelle received good grades on its Department of Energy report card and earned 97 percent of the maximum performance-based pay for the third consecutive year, officials said Monday.

Battelle will receive $8.73 million out of a possible $9 million for managing and operating Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland under a DOE contract for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

The contractor particularly shined in meeting its science and technology goals at the lab, receiving an overall "A" in that area.

"Based on the grades they got for science, I think that reflects very, very strong delivery of science and technology," said Julie Erickson, deputy manager for DOE's Pacific Northwest Site Office. "Technology delivery is something I think this laboratory does well."

The lab's other grades for operation and management functions, such as security, safety, business systems and leadership, included an A-minus, three B-pluses and a B.

The lab again is the only in the nation to get an A in the Mission Accomplishment section.

"These high marks are a tribute to our staff's dedication to meeting our science and technology missions and delivering solid performance in management and operations," PNNL Director Mike Kluse said in a statement. "They accurately reflect the impact our staff are making on some of the national's toughest challenges in science, energy, the environment and national security."

Erickson said it was impressive that Battelle maintained the same level of performance during a year of relative upheaval that included moving employees into new buildings on its campus.

Hundreds of employees were relocated from Hanford's 300 Area to seven new buildings on the lab's main Richland campus in the last 18 months, and PNNL has seen a net growth of nearly 1,000 employees.

"Today's marks once again place us among the top performers in the national laboratory system," he said.

The last three years have Battelle's best performance years using the current evaluation system. Battelle received 92 percent of its performance-based pay in fiscal 2007 and 87.3 percent in fiscal 2006.

PNNL spokesman Greg Koller said the $8.73 million fee is used for upkeep of the lab's facilities and equipment, charitable giving and business expenses not reimbursed by the government.