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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
For those of you who fell victim to the ISP and have not spoke with the attorney's, here is the information:
GWILLIAM, IVARY, CHIOSSO, CAVALLI & BREWER
P.O. BOX 2079
OAKLAND, CA. 94604
(510) 832-5411 ext. 257. Ask for Winston.
There IS something we can do in a 'team effort' to fight the UNFAIR treatment we received!!!!!!
Security Clearances at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory-California
RESULTS OF INSPECTION
We concluded that Livermore and Sandia officials did not fully adhere to Department requirements regarding security clearance justifications. Specifically, we found that Livermore and Sandia officials requested and retained security clearances inconsistent with Department policy. We determined that this issue went undetected by Livermore, Sandia, and Service Center personnel security officials because there were no internal controls in place to validate the justification of need as stated on the security clearance requests. We made three recommendations to management designed to ensure that future security clearance request justifications are subject to improved internal controls.
In responding to a draft of this report, the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HS) strongly concurred "with the need for increased oversight of the process for justifying access to classified information within the Department." HS stated it has taken or initiated several actions to enhance oversight of access authorizations.
NNSA's comments on the draft report did not specifically state whether management concurred with the findings and recommendations. NNSA interpreted our report as stating that clearance justifications should be challenged in every case. This is not what is stated in the report, nor is it our intent. Rather, we believe there should be internal controls in place to ensure compliance with Department requirements pertaining to clearances and clearance justifications. Management's comments are discussed in further detail in the report. Management's verbatim comments are included in Appendix C.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Can you check on this or confirm his message and please see if the talk was video taped for the peons to view .
Monday, December 22, 2008
The holidays are upon us, and once again many of us are stringing lights from chimneys and eaves, hanging decorations inside and out and rushing about with last-minute shopping and errands. Winter storms are bringing snow to the mountains and cold rain and fog to the valleys.
The scene is set for happy holidays with family and friends. But all too often, the scene also is set for accidents. So I’m urging each and every one of you to keep safety - at home and here at the Laboratory - topmost in your mind during this hectic season.
We continue to emphasize the need to do work safely in all Laboratory activities. We made good progress earlier this year in decreasing safety incidents and injuries, but there are indications that our safety culture continues to need improvement. Most worrisome are rumblings that some employees are afraid to speak up about safety issues and are feeling pressured to meet schedules and deliverables at all costs.
I want to emphasize that no work, no schedule, no deliverable is more important than your safety. Laboratory management is absolutely committed to ensuring that employees are empowered to raise safety concerns or stop work for safety reasons with no negative repercussions. If you feel for any reason that this is not the case, I want to hear from you, and I will personally work to correct the situation.
As 2008 draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your contributions to our Laboratory and its continuing success during this extremely challenging period of time. We've seen major changes over the past 15 months - the new contract, new management team, organizational changes and the workforce restructuring and reduction to name a few. We've also seen an amazing procession of accomplishments.
We achieved scientific breakthroughs that explain some of the key unknowns in nuclear weapons performance and are critical to developing the predictive science of stockpile stewardship. Experiments conducted at the Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research (JASPER) facility allowed us to accurately determine the low-pressure equation of state for plutonium and we met an NNSA Top 10 deliverable with the development of a first-generation, three-dimensional energy balance model.
The National Ignition Facility project is more than 99 percent complete. All 192 beamlines have been tested and operationally qualified, and we have entered the home stretch toward NIF's scheduled completion date of March 31, 2009. We also conducted initial studies of the Laser Inertial Confinement Fusion-Fission Energy (LIFE) concept and showcased both NIF and LIFE to Gov. Schwarzenegger last month.
As part of our global security mission, the Autonomous Pathogen Detection System was selected by the Department of Homeland Security for possible deployment within the national BioWatch system. In addition, we made good progress in increasing our work for sponsors other than NNSA, bringing our total work-for-others funding to nearly $350 million.
We continued our tradition of scientific excellence and technical innovation, garnering three R&D 100 awards, six Nanotech 50 awards and numerous honors for individual Laboratory employees. We've used our Zeus and Thunder supercomputers to address a wide range of scientific grand challenges, such as visualizing the structure of nanolipoproteins. Our researchers also created billions of particles of anti-matter in the laboratory and were part of an international team that discovered a new solar system.
A major thrust this year has been to make our Laboratory more efficient and cost competitive. We instituted industry-best practices for performance management, financial management and project management and streamlined numerous other processes. We reduced our support costs by $75 million and reduced our energy usage by nearly 10 percent.
Our Laboratory also continued its tradition of community outreach through science and math education and charitable giving. More than 6,000 people attended our Science on Saturdays lectures and several hundred teachers participated in summer programs aimed at enhancing science education.
For more than a decade, employees have donated more than $1 million to our annual HOME (Helping Others More Effectively) campaign. This year's contributions totaled more than $1.7 million. This figure highlights the amazing generosity of Laboratory employees and I am so proud to work with you.
I wish all of you a happy holiday season and extend my sincere thanks for all you do for our Laboratory, our communities and the nation.
And once again, please be safe in all you do so that you can enjoy the holidays to the fullest.
Director George Miller
Friday, December 19, 2008
Livermore Lab Workers May Be Exposed To Toxic Dust
"Seward said the laboratory is surveying 160 buildings looking for beryllium contamination. Already, they've found some startling results: 20 buildings with levels above acceptable, and a few with "more extensive" contamination.
And now they're assessing how many more workers were exposed: So far, 250 have been identified as having past exposure to beryllium and another 350 are being watched."
December 19, 2008 11:52 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
From the LANL Blog
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2008 15:42:30 -0800
I am very happy to report that National Security Technologies LLC has been awarded an OUTSTANDING rating by the Department of Energy for exemplary work during fiscal year 2008. Last week we were informed that we had achieved a score of 95% - one of the highest in the DOE complex. This recognition of superior performance is the result of a year-long commitment to excellence by the entire organization. As part of this recognition, the period of performance on our contract was extended through September 2012, by exercising our first award term year.
In addition to the DOE, your outstanding performance was recognized by the parent companies of NSTec. I am pleased to announce that our Board of Managers has unanimously approved a resolution to share 3% of the FY08 award fee earned by our company with employees. This is in addition to the several other incentive programs that are already in place. All employees who meet the following criteria will participate equally in Sharing for Success. To be eligible to receive a Sharing For Success check, the employee must be a regular bargaining unit or non-bargaining employee, either full-time or part-time; be employed by NSTec for at least the 10 months prior to the date the Sharing For Success checks are prepared; be in an active pay status on the date the Sharing For Success checks are prepared; and receive at least a Successful rating on the most recent Performance Review (non-bargaining only). Employees who are on a Performance Improvement Plan and those who have received written discipline in the prior 10 months are not eligible for a Sharing for Success check. These checks, with appropriate tax and other required deductions, will be distributed prior to the end of December 2008.
I am so proud of NSTec - to achieve an outstanding rating given the huge challenges that needed to be overcome is simply awesome. But then again, NTS is used to spectacular things - we do indeed have a proud past and an exciting future. We face a whole new set of challenges for FY09, but I am confident that we will meet our objectives.
Congratulations to each and every employee - we are one of the best companies in the complex!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
NNSA announces decisions to transform national security enterprise December 17, 2008
The plan to transform and downsize the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) infrastructure moved forward Tuesday as the head of NNSA signed two formal decision documents to begin its implementation. That action allows the agency to continue the process of moving from an aging, Cold War-era nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century national security enterprise.
“We can now start moving forward on much-needed consolidation and reductions throughout our national security enterprise, shifting to more cost effective operations that will save the taxpayer money,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “This will improve the safety and security of the infrastructure that maintains U.S. nuclear weapons, helps prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and material, and responds to potential nuclear terrorism or other emergencies.”
The records of decision, signed by D’Agostino, are the final steps in a several year-long process one that involved unprecedented input from the public. The plan, known as “Complex Transformation,” calls for a consolidation of missions and facilities within the existing NNSA sites, known as distributed centers of excellence. While not eliminating any sites, NNSA would eliminate redundancies in missions, capabilities, and facilities at all of them, eventually reducing costs. The decisions will appear in the Federal Register on Friday, Dec. 19.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
A year ago, I posted this torch in the first post of this BLOG vowing to continue the defunct http://llnlthefinalstory.blogspot.com. I named it llnlthetruestory.
I am about ready to hand the ownership to the next volunteer. Please email me if you want to continue the BLOG.
The 'malware' strike, thought to be from inside Russia, hit combat zone computers and the U.S. Central Command overseeing Iraq and Afghanistan. The attack underscores concerns about computer warfare.
By Julian E. Barnes
November 28, 2008
Reporting from Washington -- Senior military leaders took the exceptional step of briefing President Bush this week on a severe and widespread electronic attack on Defense Department computers that may have originated in Russia -- an incursion that posed unusual concern among commanders and raised potential implications for national security.
Defense officials would not describe the extent of damage inflicted on military networks. But they said that the attack struck hard at networks within U.S. Central Command, the headquarters that oversees U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and affected computers in combat zones. The attack also penetrated at least one highly protected classified network.
Military computers are regularly beset by outside hackers, computer viruses and worms. But defense officials said the most recent attack involved an intrusive piece of malicious software, or "malware," apparently designed specifically to target military networks.
"This one was significant; this one got our attention," said one defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing internal assessments.
Although officials are withholding many details, the attack underscores the increasing danger and potential significance of computer warfare, which defense experts say could one day be used by combatants to undermine even a militarily superior adversary.
Bush was briefed on the threat by Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen also briefed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
Military electronics experts have not pinpointed the source or motive of the attack and could not say whether the destructive program was created by an individual hacker or whether the Russian government may have had some involvement. Defense experts may never be able to answer such questions, officials said.
The defense official said the military also had not learned whether the software's designers may have been specifically targeting computers used by troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, suspicions of Russian involvement come at an especially delicate time because of sagging relations between Washington and Moscow and growing tension over U.S. plans to develop a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. The two governments also have traded charges of regional meddling after U.S. support for democratic elections in former Soviet states and recent Russian overtures in Latin America.
U.S. officials have worried in recent years about the possibility of cyber-attacks from other countries, especially China and Russia, whether sponsored by governments of those countries or launched by individual computer experts.
An electronic attack from Russia shut down government computers in Estonia in 2007. And officials believe that a series of electronic attacks were launched against Georgia at the same time that hostilities erupted between Moscow and Tbilisi last summer. Russia has denied official involvement in the Georgia attacks.
The first indication that the Pentagon was dealing with a computer problem came last week, when officials banned the use of external computer flash drives. At the time, officials did not indicate the extent of the attack or the fact that it may have targeted defense systems or posed national security concerns.
The invasive software, known as agent.btz, has circulated among nongovernmental U.S. computers for months. But only recently has it affected the Pentagon's networks. It is not clear whether the version responsible for the cyber-intrusion of classified networks is the same as the one affecting other computer systems.
The malware is able to spread to any flash drive plugged into an infected computer. The risk of spreading the malware to other networks prompted the military to ban the drives.
Defense officials acknowledged that the worldwide ban on external drives was a drastic move. Flash drives are used constantly in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many officers keep them loaded with crucial information on lanyards around their necks.
Banning their use made sharing information in the war theaters more difficult and reflected the severity of the intrusion and the threat from agent.btz, a second official said.
Officials would not describe the exact threat from agent.btz, or say whether it could shut down computers or steal information. Some computer experts have reported that agent.btz can allow an attacker to take control of a computer remotely and to take files and other information from it.
In response to the attack, the U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the military's cyberspace defenses, has raised the security level for its so-called information operations condition, or "INFOCON," initiating enhanced security measures on military networks.
The growing possibility of future electronic conflicts has touched off debates among U.S. defense experts over how to train and utilize American computer warfare specialists. Some have advocated creating offensive capabilities, allowing the U.S. to develop the ability to intrude into the networks of other countries.
But most top leaders believe the U.S. emphasis in cyberspace should be on improving defenses and gathering intelligence, particularly about potential threats.
On Tuesday, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff, received a specialized briefing about the malware attack. Officers from the Air Force Network Operations Center at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana outlined their efforts to halt the spread of the malware and to protect military computers from further attack.
Schwartz, praising those efforts, said that the attack and the military's response were being closely monitored by senior military leaders.
The offending program has been cleansed from a number of military networks. But officials said they did not believe they had removed every bit of infection from all Defense Department computers.
"There are lots of people working hard to remove the threat and put in preventive measures to protect the grid," said the defense official. "We have taken a number of corrective measures, but I would be overstating it if I said we were through this."
Barnes is a writer in our Washington bureau
Monday, December 8, 2008
For what its worth as a TPC-1er I received a letter from the Chairman of the LLNS Benefits & Investment Committee of the LLNS, LLC Board of Governors. It's dated Nov 25, 2009. I don't know if TPC-2ers also received it.
It is reproduced below in case it was not sent to all LLNL employees...
Dear LLNS Defined Benefits Pension Plan Participant:
Many of you have asked questions regarding the health and security of your pension benefits and the potential for requiring employee contributions to the LLNL Plan in the future.
At the all-hands meeting on November 18, 2008, George Miller announced that the LLNS Plan is healthy and safe. Your pension benefit is a function of your years of service and salary. These factors provide you with a steady stream of monthly pension payments regardless of economic conditions. Your monthly pension payments (Plan liabilities) are made from assets in the LLNS Plan. Even though the financial markets have declined substantially in 2008, the LLNS Plan's assets remain considerably greater than its liabilities, and should continue to be sufficient to protect against future adverse economic conditions. Currently, the LLNS Plan's over-funded position makes it exempt from any contributions for the foreseeable future.
The LLNS Benefits & Investment Committee insures that the Plan assets are invested for the long term in a diversified portfolio among domestic and international stocks, fixed-income investments and cash. The goal of this diversified portfolio is to provide stability over the long haul to continue to pay the promised retirement pension payments to both current and future retirees.
Paul E. Rosenkoetter
Chairman, Benefits & Investment Committee
I plan to keep a copy of the letter for my lawyer in case LLNS forgets its promises.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Rumors are that there is about to be an announcement of a new interim CIO. Also to be rumored is the the new interim CIO is going to be Donna Crawford.
This announcement has been rumored to be imminent for some time now.
Maybe something will finally happen in IT. It has been too long without proper leadership or direction
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