In fiscal year 2015, five DOE program offices and ARPA-E invested $7.36 billion for civilian R&D in DOE national laboratories as well as in universities, industry, and other entities. These civilian R&D investments supported diverse science and energy research areas, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and nuclear energy. The five program offices and ARPA-E also obligated funds for staff to oversee these R&D investments—referred to as staff costs in this report—and include federal staff salaries and benefits, travel, support services, and other costs.
GAO found that Energy spent around $650 million in 2015 to help manage and oversee these civilian R&D investments. Those funds paid for employees in headquarters, research, and site offices who conduct oversight activities, such as identifying research priorities, and monitoring and reviewing R&D projects via periodic assessments, site visits, and meetings.Read the full report