United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Recommending Third Party Assistance to Licensees

HPPOS-324 PDR-9308260248

Title: Recommending Third Party Assistance to Licensees

See the memorandum from J. M. Taylor to T. T. Martin (and

others) dated July 15, 1993. This memo, which included an

enclosure entitled "Guidance for Recommending Third Party

Assistance to Licensees," concerns the recommendation of

consultants and contractors to licensees by NRC employees.

To be responsive to licensees requesting assistance in

getting help in solving programmatic problems, inspectors

have provided aid by recommending consultants who could

provide quality work. The NRC staff and management had

informally decided that by recommending multiple

consultants they were avoiding any potential conflict of

interest. The issue was reviewed by the General Counsel in

consultation with the Office of Government Ethics and

concluded that an NRC employee is prohibited from

recommending the services of any particular person or

organization for a project under NRC regulatory

jurisdiction. Providing such a recommendation violated 5

CFR 2635.702. This regulation prohibits Federal employees

from using public office for endorsement of any product,

service, or enterprise.

As an agency, however, the NRC has an obligation to provide

assistance in helping licensees solve problems where the

health and safety of the public are involved. With this in

mind, guidance was issued to assist the Regions in

developing office specific procedures for providing third

party assistance to licensees. The procedures to be

developed by the Regions should address cases where

programmatic problems are involved and identify regional

and national sources of assistance to licensees (see Case 1

below). Examples of sources include the Nuclear News

Buyers Guide or other industry reference documents, another

licensee who has solved a similar problem, or an

appropriate professional society such as the Health Physics

Society, the American Association of Physicists in

Medicine, and the Society for Nuclear Medicine. The

procedures should also address those cases where an

immediate referral may be necessary (see Case 2 below).

Once procedures are developed, their implementation should

be discussed at courses on Fundamentals of Inspection and

inspector counterpart meetings.

Case 1: An NRC employee receives a request for third party

assistance from a licensee.

1. The employee should notify NRC management as soon

as practical.

2. Following consultation with management, the

employee may refer the licensee to any of the following


a. The current version of the Nuclear News Buyers

Guide. If not otherwise available to the licensee, a copy

of the Buyers Guide can be obtained by contacting the

Accounting Department of the American Nuclear Society, 555

N. Kensington Ave., La Grange Park, IL 60525.

b. After consultation with office / regional management,

a licensee may be referred to another licensee that has

solved a similar problem. When providing the name of a

referral licensee, special care must be taken to avoid the

perception of conflict of interest and that the referred

licensee is not under an OI investigation for misconduct.

c. An appropriate professional society such as the

American Society for Mechanical Engineers or the Health

Physics Society. [Note: Regions may want to keep a list of

local society chapters for referral purposes.]

d. For materials or medical licensees, the NRC

employee may recommend the following professional groups as

a reference source (the following list is not inclusive and

may be added to after confirmation the professional group

is willing to assist third party sources): American Academy

of Health Physics, 8000 West Park Drive, McLean, VA 22102,

Phone No. (703) 790-1745.

American Association of Physicists in Medicine, 335 E. 45th

St., New York, NY 10017, Phone No. (212) 661-9404. [Note:

Moving to Washington, DC area in late 1993.]

Society of Nuclear Medicine / American College of Nuclear

Physicians, Government Relations, 1101 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Washington, DC 20036, Phone No. (202) 429-5120.

American College of Medical Physicists, 1891 Preston White

Dr., Reston, VA 22091, Phone No. (703) 648-8966.

Case 2: An immediate health or safety issue exists and it

is not practical to take the kind of action detailed in

Case 1.

1. The NRC employee may refer the licensee to an

appropriate equipment manufacturer.

2. After consultation and approval from NRC

management, the NRC employee may refer the licensee to one

or more qualified consultants or contractors who can

provide prompt safety assistance. [Note: If the issue is

so immediate that it is not practical to consult with NRC

management, the employee should make the referral first,

and then inform NRC management.] Special care should

always be taken providing recommendations concerning

consultants with whom the recommending staff has a personal

or long standing relationship.

3. Following the action, the NRC employee must

document the event and the justification for the action and

provide a copy to the EDO.

Regulatory references: 5 CFR 2635.702

Subject codes: 12.19

Applicability: All

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 31, 2016