Performance assessment provides essential feedback on the effectiveness of the Program’s mission, goals, and strategies. The Office of Fossil Energy (FE)’s National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) relies on a comprehensive suite of tools to evaluate its programs, ensure relevance to national energy needs, and guide decisions at the project and program level. FE routinely commissions the independent review of key technology areas in accordance with DOE's Guide for Managing General Program Evaluation Studies. Peer Reviews conducted by independent experts from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have been completed for key areas of the FE Coal Program including Advanced Gasification, Advanced Turbines, Carbon Sequestration, Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, Fuel Cells, and Fuels. The results of these reviews and a summary of the findings developed by Review Panels can be found on NETL’s web-site under Technologies, Coal and Power Systems, and are routinely posted and made publicly available on the NETL web-site as new Reviews are completed. All recommendations and action items resulting from these reviews are evaluated, addressed, and resolved via the development of detailed mitigation strategies and action plans which are recorded and tracked through completion. http://www.netl.doe.gov/ The processes and procedures for conducting these independent expert reviews will be applied to ARRA projects. The risk assessment and management process to be applied to ARRA projects by FE will addresses Risk Assessment which includes risk identification and evaluation and Risk Management which addresses risk response and risk mitigation. Project risk assessment and management is an ongoing activity at FE. It occurs continually in the process determining mission need, establishing requirements, considering alternatives, developing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), evaluating applications, negotiating awards, and monitoring the performance of recipients. The use of a comprehensive formal process is necessary and desirable in order to ensure a high level of awareness and participation across the institution, commonality in approach, documentation of risk assessment and actions, archiving of information on results, and effective extraction of lessons-learned for future application. Since risk is inherent to all projects, regardless of the level of complexity, cost, or visibility, project risk must be addressed to the appropriate level for every project. FE does not seek to avoid risk in the selection and overview of projects. Rather, FE seeks to ensure that risk is managed both efficiently and effectively. Identifying risk events and corrective actions that may be required, if events occur, will minimize disruption to the project. The depth of analysis and the complexity and cost of the resulting risk management plan will differ from project to project, based on the nature and collective potential or likely consequences of the risk. This concept of ‘tailoring’ risk management acknowledges that different projects require different risk management approaches to appropriately address project risk. http://www.netl.doe.gov/business/solicitations/ssc2008/DE-SO26-08000662/PM_Guidelines.pdf Recovery Act projects will take the form of financial assistance grant and cooperative agreement awards. These projects will be managed in accordance with “the spirit” of the principles and discipline prescribed in DOE Order 413.3A as required by departmental guidance provided on June 23, 2006 by the Under Secretary to all Program Secretarial Officers on the subject of Project Management Expectations for Financial Assistance Activities. The principal tool for managing all Recovery Act projects will be the establishment and variance analysis and control of project cost, schedule and performance baselines.