ALBUQUERQUE — Managers at one of the nation’s premier federal laboratories improperly used taxpayer funds to influence members of Congress and other officials as part of an effort to extend the lab’s $2.4 billion management contract, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General said in a report Wednesday.

A review of documents determined that Sandia National Laboratories formed a team and worked with consultants beginning in 2009 to develop a plan for securing a contract extension without having to go through a competitive process.

That plan called for lobbying Congress, trying to influence key advisers to then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu and reaching out to a former director of the National Nuclear Security Administration and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat who led the Energy Department under the Clinton administration.



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