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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Opinions not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What on earth is going on at LANL?

What on earth is going on at LANL? McMillan sent out some bizarre email that no one can understand. The group leaders are puzzled and telling the staff just to ignore this junk. The email was along the lines of, "some people have been asking why we put the words excellence and effectiveness in the purpose statement...the reason those two words were included is because I and the 70 member team wanted to put in these words." McMillan then prattles on about some more utterly obvious points that even the zombies in The Walking Dead already understood years before. What on earth is going on?

I would hazard a guess that lab workers, many of whom went through college, graduate school, possible postdocs, and the interview process were already under the impression that LANL was about excellence and effectiveness, and took that to be a basis for even wanting to work at LANL, LLNL, Sandia or any other DOE lab for that matter. It is not a controversial statement to say that the the thing holding back excellence and effectiveness at LANL is an utterly out of touch, bloated, ineffective, and as some former deputy directors can attest, corrupt management system. The workforce does not trust the management, the LLC, or the motives of these entities. McMillan's email ends with be Essential? That is not the question; the first thing management needs to consider is Primum non nocere, "first do no harm." Each and every manager should ask themselves "are they hurting LANL and the nation?" They may say that their loyalties are to LANS and not LANL but they should ask themselves that question in any case. After that they can ask if they are essential. Of course this is a crazy question; when they hired us did they not make that decision already? Maybe they should have looked up what real leaders say to inspire their people.

"Every single man in the army plays a vital role. So don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. What if every truck driver decided that he didn't like the whine of the shells and turned yellow and jumped headlong into a ditch? That cowardly bastard could say to himself, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' What if every man said that? Where in the hell would we be then? No, thank God, Americans don't say that. Every man does his job. Every man is important. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns, the quartermaster is needed to bring up the food and clothes for us because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last damn man in the mess hall, even the one who boils the water to keep us from getting the GI shits, has a job to do."
-General George S Patton.

Strike at Pantex

Pantex workers (1,100) are going out on strike.

There's concern in NNSA that Y-12 may follow them. The big sticking point is the BenVal calculation requirement that NNSA M&O contractors must utilize to determine allowable benefits. 

http://www.yournuclearnews.com/amarillo+nuclear+workers+at+doe+amarillo+plant+vote+to+strike_120609.html

Criminal charges still on the table for Sandia lobbying

Criminal charges still on the table for Sandia lobbying, according to TIME magazine

http://time.com/4007950/nuclear-weapon-sandia-lockheed/

The settlement leaves open the door for the Justice Department to file criminal charges associated with the investigation, according to the eight-page formal agreement signed by representatives of Sandia and the Justice Department, which was obtained by the Center.

The troubles uncovered by the inspector general’s investigation could affect Sandia Corporation’s chances if it pursues a contract extension, according to Michelle Laver, spokeswoman for the NNSA. “Federal acquisition regulations require that past performance be looked at as part of any and all contract awards,” she said.

The 10 Worst Things About Lockheed Martin's Alleged Lobbying Fraud

http://www.forbes.com/sites/charlestiefer/2015/08/31/lockheed-fined-4-7-million-for-fraudulent-taxpayer-paid-lobbying-with-most-corrupt-ex-rep-wilson/

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Retired SNL employee gives scathing review of SNL illegal lobbying:

Anonymous Carl Axness (former SNL retired employee) gives scathing review of SNL illegal lobbying:

http://www.abqjournal.com/633395/news/sandia-corp-pays-4-8-million-fine-for-improper-lobbying.html

Carl Axness · Polytechnic University of Catalonia
As a retired SNL employee, I am not surprised. Upper management frequently gives contracts to retired upper managers and the labs are a convenient place for the M&O company to unload unproductive upper managers. It has always been unclear to me why the labs need a private company to "manage" them given the huge number of managers that the lab has, most of whom are there to give motherhood and apple pie talks. Of course, there is a strong republican bias at the labs which explains the lucrative contract going to Heather Wilson. Hopefully DOE will punish some of the responsibles 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

About the all hands LANL purpose statement

About the all hands LANL purpose statement


Everyone I know found this debacle to be either pointless or demoralizing. One person said that it makes them very sad to think that 70 managers actually spent six months to come up with nothing. Some have said that is an insult to all the people at the laboratory. Others said that it was just a waste of time and not to waste another second thinking about it, which of course is the practical thing to do. Many people are just confused about why this even happened or what the whole point was and are worried that if this gets out it could really hurt LANL.

It does not look good to have an all hands meeting where we say we had to hire an outside marketing firm to figure out the purpose of the lab by watching videos of people gesturing about slitting throats, babies using diapers, geese honking, selfies and chocolate, octupi eating people, and dishonest facts about crappy cameras. This is then followed by the Director describing a one-page viewgraph containing trivially obvious statements that required six months to assemble.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hanford whistleblower wins

Hanford whistleblower wins; Tamosaitis to receive $4.1 million settlement"

"...Hanford subcontractor URS has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by former employee Walter Tamosaitis for $4.1 million..."

"...He also insisted that the settlement agreement include no confidentiality statement keeping the settlement terms secret, so that others would see that “integrity, honesty and forthrightness will lead to justice.”

"...The $4.1 million settlement with URS includes almost $1.4 million for lost wages and $1.1 million for emotional distress and mental anguish..."

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/08/12/3691323_hanford-whistleblower-to-receive.html?rh=1

Obama Taps Former LLNL Science Manager for DOE Office of Science

August 13, 2015 
The Independent

Cherry Murray, former associate director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been nominated by President Obama to head the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Murray, an experimental physicist, trained at MIT and worked at Bell Laboratories before coming to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2004. At Bell Labs , she conducted research and held a number of management positions including senior vice president for physical sciences.

At LLNL, she served as Principal Associate Director for Science and Technology. She became president of the American Physical Society in 2009, a year that also saw her leave for Cambridge to become dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

She served as dean for a 5-year term. Near the end of that time, in 2014, she was called to the White House to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. When her term as dean ended, she remained at Harvard as Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy as well as a professor of physics.

The Office of Science, the branch of the Department of Energy branch that Murray has been nominated to lead, is responsible for 10 major laboratories around the U.S. Its research is intentionally civilian in nature, in contrast to that of the National Nuclear Security Administration, the part of DOE that emphasizes nuclear weapons.

In the Bay Area, Office of Science laboratories include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford Laboratory Accelerator Center, now called SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The Office of Science has a budget of about $5 billion per year, with grants that support research across the country, including hundreds in California alone.

Senate confirmation of Murray ’s nomination is required but is not a sure thing. President Obama’s previous choice to lead the Office of Science, Marc Kastner, Dean of Science at MIT, was nominated in 2013 and never confirmed. He has since found another position as president of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, an organization which supports basic research.

http://www.independentnews.com/labs_link/obama-taps-former-llnl-science-manager/article_0e9ec28e-414d-11e5-9c00-37997cfc4864.html

Sandia Corporation Agrees to Pay $4.7 Million


Sandia Corporation Agrees to Pay $4.7 Million to Resolve Allegations Related to Lobbying Activities

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/sandia-corporation-agrees-pay-47-million-resolve-allegations-related-lobbying-activities

Comments:

The $4.7 million covers 4 years so that's a little under $1.2 million per year. That's not a big hit on a contract that's worth $2.4 billion per year. It's just the cost of business.
August 22, 2015 at 11:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

August 22, 2015 at 1:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oh, dear. Will this have any negative effects on next year's executive bonus?
August 23, 2015 at 10:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Just have NNSA pay this puny $4.7M fine. Hell, they just paid NM State (i.e. Susana in the Highest) LANS $70M fine. It's all about NNSA "protecting" their contractors, not holding them accountable.

Friday, August 21, 2015

First "Periodic Progress Report" is now available

The first "Periodic Progress Report" is now available. It is beyond pathetic, it looks like it was thrown together in five minutes. It states some glaring inaccurcies and says how great things are. Do these people have any shame. A pure disgrace to the LANL workers, the history of the lab, and the United States.

Did LANS pay for a "purpose statement?"

Did McMillan pay the advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi several million of dollars to give LANS a "purpose" statement? LANS doesn't even pay it's own safety and security fines and but it pays for this this? LANS is out of control.


The rumor is that the contract is done and that DOE wants to move away from a for profit LLC model to a more service based it may be LLC but not for little or no profit. There are rumors that it could simply be given back to UC. Also with the accident at LANCE when the results come out there will be alot heads rolling. The purpose statement appears to be out of desperation, as
that upper management team will be cleared away. The other rumor about that DOE has been very disappointed by the new management culture and none of the changes they hoped to happened occurred. DOE may be a bit slow but I have been told that they where not very happy with large increase in managers and decrease in performance and this will change.

Minority managers at the labs

Are women or minority managers at LANL or LLNL treated differently or less harshly for ethical indiscretions in the workplace?

Comments:

Anonymous said...
Ask Beth.
Anonymous said...
So her 11th hour departure from LANS was not a sign of special treatment?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rank and Yank.

The infamous "Rank & Yank", a worker rating process that is being dropped by many big corporations but is still used at Amazon -- and the NNSA weapon labs, of course -- is detailed in the NYT article below. The article deals with the leadership vision and working conditions of white collar staff at Bezos' company. It's a long article but well worth reading:

..................................
Each year, the internal competition culminates at an extended semi-open tournament called an Organization Level Review, where managers debate subordinates’ rankings, assigning and reassigning names to boxes in a matrix projected on the wall. In recent years, other large companies, including Microsoft, General Electric and Accenture Consulting, have dropped the practice — often called stack ranking, or “rank and yank” — in part because it can force managers to get rid of valuable talent just to meet quotas.

 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

Tomas Diaz de la Rubia got a new job!

https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q3/purdue-selects-national-laboratory-and-industry-veteran-as-next-discovery-park-chief-scientist,-executive-director.html
Will he last longer than Ed Moses at GMTO?

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