Knowledge Management Produces Familial Feelings at Federal Agency

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

(Rockville, MD) – As employees retire, resign, or are fired, one Federal agency is taking concrete steps to preserve its institutional memory. And its initiative is taking on a familial feel.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is highly involved in Knowledge Management, an effort to capture, preserve, and transfer technical knowledge from outgoing employees to current and yet-to-be-hired employees. The effort keeps such information “in the family” so a smooth continuity of operations and successions can be achieved.

In fact, the agency has written a song based on Sister Sledge’s 1979 hit “We Are Family” to espouse these familial feelings:

We are NRC
I’ve got those reactors with me!
We are NRC
Store all that spent fuel and sing!
Everyone knows we’re the regulator
As we inspect on
(WHY?) What they ask when they see an inspector
He won’t tell a lie
(DIE!) We’ll all die if there’s a violator
So we weed them out
So let us state for the record
That we do our job to keep you safe

“Knowledge Management focuses on two major initiatives,” said a spokesman for the NRC, speaking on condition of anonymity. “One, important technical and logistical knowledge must be captured, preserved, protected, and defended. This must be done while staff, like the information, is fresh. We don’t really want to absorb stale information, and we can do without stale employees, too.

“This brings me to the second initiative. When we find information that’s outdated, we dispose of it accordingly. The same goes for outdated employees, except we can’t shred them. That’s when we encourage retirements and resignations.”

But not all members of the “NRC Family” are happy about this arrangement. “They say they’re preparing for the next generation of NRC staff, but everyone knows the original is better,” said a fired NRC employee, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Just look at Star Trek. Everyone prefers Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to Picard, Riker and Crusher.”