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Monday, July 20, 2009

Signing of Operating Principles Agreement Reaffirms Partnership With BSO

BSO/LBNL image(back row, left to right: Interim Lab Director Paul Alivisatos, BSO Director Aundra Richards, UCOP Deputy Associate VP Buck Koonce, LBNL Deputy COO Anita Gursahani; front row, left to right: Acting Deputy Lab Director Jay Keasling, BSO Public Affairs Officer Lauren Martinez, Chief Operating Officer Jim Krupnick)

Leaders of Berkeley Lab, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Berkeley Site Office (BSO) and the UC Office of the President recently signed an Operating Principles agreement reaffirming their commitment to the partnership and outlining principles for continuously strengthening the working relationship.

The agreement describes the roles and responsibilities of BSO and the Lab, respectively, and emphasizes a spirit of collaboration and honesty. “BSO and LBNL mutually embrace a system of self-assessment and continuous improvement in which the parties constructively raise issues, identify shortcomings, and consistent with the performance-based contract concept, develop efficient and effective solutions to problems that affect performance and contract compliance,” it states.

The signing of the agreement is a written testament to what is already a strong partnership of the three parties. This was in evidence this year in two major undertakings at the Lab—the Health, Safety and Security (HSS) audit by the DOE in January-February and a Mission Readiness Peer Review in June.

Due to good communication, preparation and collaboration, the Lab and BSO benefited jointly from the HSS audit. Both not only were working towards a positive outcome but also viewed the assessment as a learning experience. The level of preparation came through when HSS would ask a question of Lab personnel and receive an answer that was the same as that of the BSO counterpart. It was also apparent to the HSS Assessment team that the BSO site representatives and Lab employees work together on an ongoing basis and have good working relationships.

The recent peer review assessed the Lab’s implementation of Mission Readiness, the planning and collaboration between the DOE, Lab Leadership, the Scientific Community and the Facilities department to assure that Facilities and Infrastructure will be ready (Mission Ready) to accomplish the Science Mission. Again, Lab leadership worked closely with BSO to prepare for the review. BSO Director Aundra Richards was involved with Facilities personnel on the Lab’s Master Plan, expressing concerns in areas such as pedestrian safety, parking and building on brown sites (sites where buildings exist and can be demolished as opposed to a green site which is new pristine land).

The peer review had a very positive outcome. The Peer Review Team was impressed with the BSO involvement in the Lab’s Mission Readiness process.

To read the Operating Principles Agreement, click here.