Contract Assurance Council

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The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Contract Assurance Council advises the Vice President for National Laboratories (VPNL) in the University of California Office of the President to ensure 1) the effective governance of the Laboratory and 2) that performance of work under the LBNL contract meets the terms of the contract as well as the bylaws and standing orders of the University of California.


The Council is expected to advise the VPNL in the following areas:

·      Adequacy of the Laboratory’s contract assurance system

·      Adequacy of Laboratory policies, systems, procedures, and practices to protect DOE and UC assets

·      Adequacy of performance measures, metrics and results

·      Efficiency and effectiveness of management systems

·      Management initiatives and improvements

·      Areas which will require third-party assessments

·      Resources required from UC to assist the Laboratory in meeting its mission and requirements

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The VPNL, as a University officer with line management responsibility, acts on the advice of the Contract Assurance Council and works with the Department of Energy and LBNL management to ensure compliance with the LBNL contract. The VPNL communicates with the DOE Berkeley Site Office to provide notification of significant issues and solicit input. The VPNL also coordinates and ensures the availability of University resources to assist the Laboratory Director in fulfilling the Laboratory mission.

The UC representatives on the Council provide their expertise, and that of their offices in the UC Office of the President to assist and support the effective and efficient operation of the Laboratory.

Membership & Terms

The LBNL Contract Assurance Council includes an appropriate mix of senior officers of the University and external non-UC members who are not UC employees.  The members of the Council are appointed by the VPNL. The VPNL serves as the Council Chair.

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The UC Office of the President members or their designees are the Senior Vice President for Compliance and Audit; the General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs; the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; the Associate Vice President for Finance; the UC Academic Council Representative to the LBNL Advisory Board; the Vice President for Human Resources; the Office of the National Laboratories (UCNL) Associate Vice President for Laboratory Operations; the UCNL Associate Vice President for Laboratory Programs; the Associate Vice President for Federal Governmental Relations; and the Associate Director for Federal Governmental Relations.   The UC representatives serve on the Council without fixed terms of appointment.

The Council also includes up to four distinguished external members who provide independent expertise related to administrative, operational, or programmatic responsibilities of the Laboratory. The external members are appointed for four-year terms, which may be renewed at the discretion of the VPNL.

As needed, the VPNL engages select CAC members in on-going Operations organization peer reviews; management system reviews; etc. to obtain their insight and feedback regarding Lab operations as well as further increase their knowledge and understanding.

Based on current issues and events, the VPNL and/or COO can call a special CAC meeting as needed between the regularly scheduled quarterly meetings.


The CAC advises the VP on management issues that need Laboratory attention, the status of progress in addressing these issues, and recommendations on how best to work with the management of the Laboratory to ensure effective management of the Laboratory. 

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Laboratory management representatives attend the meetings to engage directly with the Council on management matters. The Council Chair develops the agenda for the meetings in concert with the LBNL Chief Operating Officer (COO). Agenda items may include priority areas of interest or concern to the Council, Laboratory management response to areas of concern, or information sharing on areas of interest. Action items resulting from the meetings are assigned and tracked until the action has been completed or the matter has been resolved.  Based on current issues and events, the VPNL and/or LBNL COO can call a special CAC meeting as needed between the regularly scheduled meetings.

The annual meeting schedule is comprised of 4 quarterly meetings.

      The quarterly (~4 hours each) meetings focus on broader, systems level assurance topics thematic in content (e.g. assurances and attestations; audit and oversight; annual strategic vision/priorities from Lab Director/Deputy Lab Director; annual DOE Performance Evaluation Management Plan and performance results; DOE Berkeley Site Office manager feedback) and institutional management risks (e.g. audit plan and annual summary of significant audit findings; critical risks and issues; strengthening large line item project management). Formal meeting minutes are prepared and approved by the Council for quarterly meetings.