UPTON, NY - Brookhaven National Laboratory's management and staff welcome the U.S. Department of Energy's plan to limit competition for the Brookhaven operating contract to not-for-profit organizations or not-for-profit-led teams.
"I think nearly everyone at BNL will join me in saying that this decision, and the accompanying commitment to protecting the jobs of the vast majority of the current employees, represents a positive step," said Brookhaven Interim Director Lyle Schwartz.
DOE today announced its preliminary plans for the process it will follow to select a contractor to operate Brookhaven. DOE's Franklin G. Peters was named to lead a Source Evaluation Board and make the final decision.
The announcement follows DOE's May 1 termination of its contract with the nonprofit Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), which had run BNL since its founding in 1947. The contract was terminated due to concerns over the Laboratory's management of environment, safety and health programs.
"Since the contract was terminated, many of our 3,100 employees have voiced their strong concern that the atmosphere of basic scientific discovery and freedom that AUI has fostered at BNL for 50 years would evaporate if the new contractor was interested only in the bottom line," said Schwartz. "While this announcement does not answer all their questions about the future of BNL, it offers some assurances to the BNL community."
Schwartz noted that hundreds of Lab employees gave their input on the selection criteria and process to DOE representatives at a May 28 informational meeting held at BNL. "I know that our employees have very strong feelings about their Laboratory and its future. They'll make sure that their voices are heard," he said.
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