The National Nuclear Security Administration has temporarily extended Lockheed Martin’s contract to manage Sandia National Laboratories, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The agreement to manage the nuclear weapons research center now will extend six months beyond its Sept. 30 expiration date until March 2014, according to the newspaper. NNSA said in 2011 that it would accept competing bids for the contract, but that process has since stalled and it has yet to issue a formal request for proposals.
NNSA officials declined to give a reason for the delay or comment on what would happen after March, the newspaper reported. The delay comes amid an unresolved conflict over the contract to manage the agency’s Pantex nuclear weapons plant in Texas and the Y-12 national security facility in Tennessee. The agency initially awarded the contract to a consortium led by Lockheed Martin and Bechtel earlier this year, but competing bidders appealed the decision.
The renewal of contracts at other NNSA facilities also has come under scrutiny during the past year. Watchdog groups and Government Accountability Office officials have raised concerns that the agency renewed deals involving Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.