By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Energy has its share of challenges as it conducts some of the world's most high-tech research, maintains a stockpile of nuclear weapons and cleans up after decades of bomb-making.
A report released this week outlines some of those management struggles while providing a look at the expansive scope of the department's responsibilities and costly liabilities.
According to work over the past year, the agency's inspector general says a growing problem is oversight and management of more than 11,300 contracts to keep operations humming at 17 national laboratories, dozens of contaminated sites and other facilities.
Most of the agency's $30 billion budget goes to contracts.
The report identifies millions of dollars in losses related to quality assurance and other problems at sites from Washington state to New Mexico and South Carolina.
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