The Dept. of Energy's inspector general has found that in some cases the agency misapplied its plan to increase incentive fees to encourage contractors to complete especially challenging work by paying fees for work it knew could not be completed. The IG was investigating performance-based incentives at the Hanford site in Washington state. The department did not adequately consider key factors affecting the likely outcome that were beyond the contractor's control, the IG says. DOE said in response that while the goals are "challenging," the incentives are directly responsible for the successes at the site.