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Contractor Assurance


Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) is managed and operated by Fermi Research Alliance (FRA), LLC, under Contract DE-AC02-07CH11359 (the prime contract) with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science (SC). The prime contract's Clause H.13, Contractor Assurance System, requires FRA to develop a Contractor Assurance System (CAS) that is executed by the contractor’s Board of Directors. The Contractor Assurance System, at a minimum, shall include the following key attributes:

  1. A comprehensive description of the assurance system with processes, key activities, and accountabilities clearly defined.
  2. A method for verifying/ensuring effective assurance system processes. Third party audits, peer reviews, independent assessments, and external certification (such as VPP and ISO9001 or ISO 14001) may be used.
  3. Timely notification of the DOE-Fermi Site Office (FSO) Contracting Officer of significant assurance system changes prior to changes.
  4. Rigorous, risk-based, credible self-assessments, and feedback and improvement reviews to assess and improve Fermilab’s work process and to carry out independent risk and vulnerability studies.
  5. Independent verification and correction of negative performance/compliance trends before they become significant issues.
  6. Integration of assurance system with other management systems including Integrated safety Management (ISM).
  7. Metrics and targets to assess performance, including benchmarking of key functional areas with other DOE contractors, industry and research institutions. Assure development of metrics and targets that result in efficient and cost effective performance.
  8. Continuous feedback and performance improvement.
  9. An implementation plan (if needed) that considers and mitigates risks.
  10. Timely and appropriate communication to the FSO Contracting Officer, including electronic access, of assurance related information.

The CAS applies to all work activities and to all personnel performing work at Fermilab including subcontractors and guests. The CAS process encompasses all aspects of the sixteen cross-cutting management systems which are essential to mission success.

The Fermilab Assurance Council (AC) is a key element of the CAS. The members of the AC are Management System owners and major process owners. A major function of the AC is to identify and track issues that arise though an awareness of changes in the laboratory's operating environment, applicable laws and regulations, self-assessments and the various review processes of the laboratory. The AC executes this function through the FRA CAS Cycle, which defines AC oversight activities, meetings and processes leading to the annual Assurance Letter from the FRA Chairman of the Board to the DOE Contracting Officer.