Message from the Director - FY07 Budget
Despite passage of the FY07 President's budget in both the House and Senate, which included significant increases for the Office of Science and critical PED funds for the 12 GeV Upgrade, the lack of a final bill before the installation of the 110th Congress has made a long-term Continuing Resolution a likely funding scenario for this year. The details of the CR are not yet decided and may leave room for some mitigating adjustments, but in a worst-case scenario, the Office of Science and therefore Nuclear Physics will be held to the FY 06 funding level. Lab management has provided Department of Energy officials with the impacts to Jefferson Lab under this scenario to assist them in their efforts to secure the President's FY07 Budget Request for science.
Although our final FY07 budget has not yet been determined, I want to inform you of the Lab's priorities and strategy should a worst-case funding scenario materialize. These plans and strategy are based on the assumption that FY08 and beyond budgets will include funding for the Office of Science at levels consistent with the President's American Competitiveness Initiative, which set clear goals for investment in our nation's science enterprise.
The 12 GeV Upgrade is JLab's highest priority. We will maintain the world-class staff necessary to position the Lab to aggressively pursue the 12 GeV Upgrade and experimental program, including selective hiring of critical positions in order to deliver on the major milestones associated with the 12 GeV project and experimental program. We will work to minimize any schedule slip for the 12 GeV Upgrade including requesting reprogramming of funds for PED to allow progress to continue. Without PED funds, the beginning of construction and completion of the Upgrade project will be delayed at least a year and the likelihood of generating non-DOE contributions critical to the project will be seriously jeopardized if not eliminated entirely.
We are also considering a termination of experimental research using CEBAF in March for the remainder of the fiscal year with a resultant loss of research output.
Despite the potential for early suspension of the experimental program, there will still be much for all of us to do. Efforts will focus on preparation of the 12 GeV Upgrade, and accelerator and other system improvements that require minimal procurements. Our dedication and creativity of will be even more important as we seek to advance these Lab priorities within a very stringent budget. It is critical that we continue to be productive with the funding we receive and work in a safe and efficient manner to avoid potential negative impacts on our programs and to protect our colleagues.
We are preparing for and clearly communicating the severe impacts of a worst-case scenario. I can assure you, however, that a broad range of stakeholders - in Government, Industry, and the Scientific Community - is engaged in an effort to bring about a positive outcome and a Joint Resolution that would allow science funding at the FY07 President's Budget Request, consistent with the American Competitiveness Initiative.
This situation is very serious for JLab as an institution and challenges us all to give our best. As the FY07 funding situation becomes clear, division leadership and I will keep you informed. There is important work to be done in FY07 and specifics will be formulated and articulated in the coming weeks by your division management. While this news is clearly a setback, I believe that there is broad recognition that our nation must invest in its science agenda to compete internationally and that support will translate into more favorable budgets in FY08 and beyond.