Monday, January 25, 1999
No companies yet respond to INEEL bid invitation
Offer posted on Internet Friday
Of The Journal
ARCO DESERT - U.S. Department of Energy officials are inviting
the nation's leading environmental contractors to compete for
the chance to operate the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental
Laboratory for the next five years.
DOE posted its contract bid invitation on the Internet on Friday
and by mid-morning today no companies had responded.
Jeff Hoyles, chairman of the department's board that wrote the
invitation, predicted a vigorous competition and that management
teams from rival companies during the next few weeks will start
announcing their intentions.
"We're going to have them come in with their key people
- the people who are actually going to be working here - and have
them tell us what they're going to do for us," Hoyles said.
Officials are asking bidders to explain how they intend to safely
and cost-effectively execute the wide array of nuclear and hazardous
waste management and cleanup work required at INEEL under state
and federal environmental laws.
They want a contractor that will expand INEEL's role as a science-based
applied engineering lab and leverage for the nation's benefit
technologies developed at INEEL using public money.
They also want a contractor that will continue to help develop
Eastern Idaho's economy.
INEEL contractor Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Co. created
more than 2,000 new jobs in Eastern Idaho by investing more than
$2.7 million into area economic development.
But Lockheed fell short on safety and environmental compliance,
prompting DOE to pay Lockheed only about half of what it could
have earned on the performance-based contract.
"We wouldn't be going through this competitive process if
we didn't think we could get a contractor that could exceed Lockheed
Martin's performance," Hoyles said.
The new contractor has a shot at making a lot of money managing
5,800 of INEEL's roughly 8,000 workers. During the first year
of the contract beginning Oct. 1, it could make as much as $28
"We think that fee pool could grow to $36 million per year,
because the department and the public want to pay for good performance,"
He added that like the last contract, there is no guarantee the
new contractor will make a penny of taxpayer money at INEEL. Lockheed
didn't make any money during six months of last year because of
Companies have until March 24 to submit proposals.
The board will evaluate them before selecting the best one and
hiring a new INEEL contractor this spring or summer.
Tim Jackson covers the environment and INEEL for the Journal.
He can be reached by phone at 232-4161, Ext. 282, or e-mail at