Federal officials say managers at one of the nation's premiere federal laboratories in New Mexico improperly used taxpayer funds to influence members of Congress and other officials in an effort to extend the lab's $2.4 billion management contract.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General released a report Wednesday saying the use of the funds by Sandia National Laboratories was a violation of federal codes and provisions in the contract itself.
The report includes recommendations, and Sandia officials say they'll cooperate with the inspector general.
The inspector general determined that the lab 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 and trying to influence key advisers to then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Explore further: Report IDs 'major weaknesses' at nuclear-arms lab