We will exercise the highest standards of financial accountability and transparency, demonstrating our responsibility to the citizens who support our research.
Introduction: Berkeley Lab, the GOCO Model, and our Management and Operating Contract
Berkeley Lab is a Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory managed by the University of California (UC) and designated a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). Roughly 95% of Laboratory funding comes from federal and state taxpayers, creating a special relationship of stewardship and trust with the public. The Laboratory is operated under a “GOCO” (Government Owned, Contractor Operated) model in which the Laboratory is owned by the federal government, and operated under contract between DOE and UC as the Management and Operating (M&O) Contractor. This special legal structure and Berkeley Lab’s M&O contract (also referred to as our “prime contract” or “Contract 31”) convey a wide array of rights and obligations on Berkeley Lab and its leaders, managers and employees.
Training: CFO 0710-Contract 31 Overview
Line Management Responsibility
Lab leaders and managers are accountable for understanding and exercising their financial and fiduciary stewardship responsibilities, including managing all Lab resources appropriately on behalf of the public. Lab resources include our people and their effort (or time), funding, facilities, equipment, digital systems, physical property and other laboratory assets. Lab employees are responsible for understanding their individual financial/fiduciary responsibilities and are accountable for their own actions.
Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Financial and fiduciary management is a joint responsibility shared by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) and Area and Division Line Management. The OCFO is responsible for providing policies, training and resources (such as expertise and staff, systems, tools and services) to support effective research and operations management. Area and Division Line Management is responsible for understanding, exercising and assuring effective financial and fiduciary management of all programs, projects and operations within their units. Line management is designated by Area and Division leaders, and includes Associate Lab Directors, Division Directors, technical managers including PIs, and operations managers including Deputies and Business Managers.
Key Financial and Fiduciary Elements
It is essential that Laboratory leaders understand the Lab’s unique financial ‘operating rules’ at a high level to assure these are effectively applied and practiced within their organizations. It is also important to understand that the Lab operates under financial rules and policies that differ in fundamental ways from those under which UC campuses and most universities operate. Below are key elements of the Lab’s financial and fiduciary ‘operating rules,’ with links to policies and training resources. A wide variety of training and resources are available from the OCFO and Area/Division management to expand your understanding.
Berkeley Lab may not begin work on any DOE or other sponsored research until funding has been received and fully accepted, as evidenced by a DOE Work Authorization Statement (WAS) or signed sponsor award agreement and receipt of budget authority, via a prime contract modification executed by the DOE Berkeley Site Office. Only Berkeley Lab Contracting Officers with delegated authority may negotiate terms and accept Strategic Partnership Project (SPP) sponsored research awards on behalf of the Lab. DOE and SPP sponsor funds may only be used for the contractually‐approved purpose within the authorized period of performance, must be managed in conformance with all award terms and conditions, and cannot be augmented or co-mingled with other funds.
The UC/DOE prime contract is a cost reimbursable contract. This means that DOE will only reimburse Lab costs that are deemed “allowable.” Allowable costs are necessary, reasonable, allocable, and incurred during the authorized period of performance. Unallowable costs must be charged to the UC management fee or another ‘off-contract’ source.
Lab costs must be allowable, incurred within the authorized period of performance, and in conformance with Laboratory policies related to effort (or time) reporting, procurement, travel and other matters. Costs must be accurately and consistently charged or allocated to the benefitting project(s). As a general rule, Berkeley Lab is required to ensure that all projects pay all direct costs and the full share of indirect costs allocable to the project, regardless of the funding source or the sponsor. This is referred to as “Full Cost Recovery.”
Effort (or Time) Reporting
All Lab employees are required to report their time regularly and accurately by charging all “benefitting” projects. Exempt staff (i.e., those paid a fixed monthly salary) are required to charge time in accurate proportion to time worked on all benefitting projects. Lab supervisors are obligated to review and approve time for accuracy.
Policy: Time and Labor Reporting
The Lab is required to comply with most federal procurement regulations. To assure this, all procurements must be made through a Lab-authorized system like eBuy, or be made by a Lab Procurement buyer with delegated procurement authority. Only Procurement Buyers with delegated authority may negotiate subcontract price, terms and conditions, commit the Lab to expenditures, and award subcontracts to suppliers. All funding and approvals must be in place before procurement commitments are made. Area and Division Line Management has important responsibilities in the pre-award and post-award administration of procurements.
Training: Procurement Training Link
All property purchased by Berkeley Lab with DOE funding is U.S. Government property and must be used solely for the performance or support of Laboratory work or other purposes authorized by the Lab. Property custodians must be able to produce property for inventories, and may not dispose of property (regardless of value) outside of Lab processes. Berkeley Lab has policies to ensure that equipment donated or loaned to the Lab goes through safety reviews comparable to the reviews of equipment acquired through the standard Lab procurement process.
Training: CFO 0730-Personal Property Management
Travel, Conferences and Meals
All Lab-paid travel, conferences and meals must follow all applicable LBNL policies and processes, which are restrictive. No commitments may be made until all approvals are in place.