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Friday, April 17, 2009

Better Oversight Needed . . .

Anonymous said...

"Better Oversight Needed to Ensure That Security Improvements at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Are Fully Implemented and Sustained"
March 2009

What the GAO Found
"DOE’s Office of Independent Oversight found numerous and wide-ranging security deficiencies with LLNL’s safeguards and security program. DOE gave the laboratory the lowest possible rating in two security areas: protective force performance and classified matter protection and control. The Office of Independent Oversight also reported that LLNL’s physical security systems, such as alarms and sensors, and its security program planning and assurance activities needed improvement."......

...."LLNL, LSO, and DOE officials agreed on other factors that contributed to the laboratory’s overall security performance. First, the change in management and operating contractor from the University of California to LLNS in October 2007 contributed to a loss of focus on security performance. According to LLNL security officials, during the period of contract transition, employees’ focus was on ensuring safety as well as on potential impacts on employee pensions. In addition, the contract transition contributed to a delay in conducting LLNL’s required annual
force-on-force exercise. Second, DOE’s and NNSA’s determination to declare LLNL a non-enduring site for Category I and II special nuclear material affected the morale of laboratory employees. LLNL security officials said highly experienced employees left the laboratory as a result of this declaration. Finally, successive changes to DOE’s DBT policy between 2003 and 2005 affected the analytical process that underpins security planning. In particular, LLNL security officials said the laboratory faced challenges in completing necessary vulnerability assessments."

April 16, 2009 8:58 PM


Anonymous said...

Let’s look at this statement in pieces:

1. “The change in contract contributed to a loss of focus on Security Performance.” Wasn’t the main thrust of the contract rebid to bring in someone other than UC to handle the security better than UC did? Way to go Bechtel.

2. “Employee focus was on safety and pension”. The safety issue was something that was brought to focus by NNSA/DOE. I guess that we were all standing around the cooler talking about our benefits change. I know that in my corner of the lab it was a heated discussion. That should not have precluded getting the job done and if someone couldn’t focus at the task on hand then either they or their manager needs to be taken behind to wood shed for some focus therapy.

3. I don’t understand why the delay in conducting the force on force was a factor in the security performance unless we asked for a delay and were given demerits for the delay.

4. Declaration of the intent to remove Category I and II SNM reduced morale and caused people to leave. Well that’s one point I would agree upon. If I am told that the reason for my job will disappear at a fixed time you can bet I’ll start looking bail out.

5. DOE kept changing DBT policy and we didn’t keep up. Well I am shocked to hear of such a thing. It’s not like DOE would mandate the lab to do something and not provide the funds to accomplish it. Nor would NNSA/DOE ever provide conflicting requests. And NNSA/DOE would certainly never pull a stunt of pulling funds of a mandate because they didn’t agree with how you were attempting to meet the mandate.

Bottom line, if UC failed and Bechtel failed, maybe it’s us?

If your boss tells you your job will end soon he shouldn’t be surprised that you might not give it the 110% effort and that you might find another job before he fires you.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure the quotes reflect the title.

Security has improved. Oversight (i.e. LSO or HQ) must step up to the plate and ensure those improvements are fully implemented (provide money) and are sustained (provide more money).

Perhaps it would be better to quote the two recommendations from the report; gives a very different feel to what the GAO articulated.

Anonymous said...

the contract change also caused the highly trained security force personnel to jump ship to out side lawenforcement agentcies

Anonymous said...

The bottom line with this report is LLNS has been failing in their management obligations. Given the bloated, huge management structure here, the fact that ULM is failing to manage is astonishing. It is not for lack of managers. All of the points in the report ultimately come back to managment responsibility including retaining personnel, keeping everyone trained, keeping people focused on the task at hand (rather than the pension etc.). With such a bloated management structure, how could such basic responsibilities be missed? There must be 4 managers for every worker, you would think that would be enough to manage everyone. Maybe we need 10 managers per worker, or more likely, we need new managers who are competent. This blog has long detailed the failed LLNS managment on many levels, now studies are coming out to add proof to our assertions.

Anonymous said...

April 17, 2009 9:02 PM

Yeap, and there is more to come as they down size when all the Pu is gone. All of the security force needs to start looking now and better yet outside California since their sissified tactic they us to apprehend people here will get you killed. In other state you don't run from law enforcement unless you want to visit the morgue.criminals need to be handles like criminals not barbe dolls. The socialist republic of California is NOT the place to be.

Anonymous said...

Time for a remake of Hogan's Heroes with GM as Col. Klink - commander of the most secure Stalag in all of Amerika.

Anonymous said...

It's time to end the disasterous reign of NNSA. These are the same boobs who could not oversee the weapons complex when they were DOE.

The main fallout from this issue was that the Site Manager was replaced, but she should have been fired. Unfortunately the rest of the incompetents are still there.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered why a boat-load of high-level managers ran over to LANL to take it over when LANS was created. I am now understanding why a little better.

What's really remarkable is that as bad as the richly paid government contracts to manage the Lab have been for LANL, it appears to have been much worse for LLNL.

Usually when one goes through a process, learning takes place that makes the next time around go much this case, it seems that the opposite took place.

So, LANS made LANL an expensive mess, LLNS made LLNL a bigger, even more expensive mess.

Hmmm...maybe it's not us. Maybe it's NNSA and DOE.

It's time to end the fiction of a quasi-independent agency running the Labs.

The second option is to stop pretending that we're maintaining our weapons complex and just tell the public the truth: we're killing it off.

Won't it make our citizens more comfortable knowing Iran and North Korea will have nukes and ballistic missiles and we will have carelessly discarded the capability to understand what they are doing?

Anonymous said...

April 17, 2009 7:07 PM

I agree 7:07. This post is very misleading.

Anonymous said...

Security at the lab is bloated an ineffective. They are giving tickets for jaywalking and for bicycle riders not having a badge on or turning right on a stop sign after a bicycle style boulevard stop.

I know. I know. Rules every one. We just don't need to pay another Barney Fife to patrol the playground.

Prop 13 is needed for security.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered that it may be Security management that has been at fault for the problems identified in this GAO report? Since sufficient money was provided to upgrade security why didn't those objectives get accomplished? I believe that we may have witnessed, first hand, a Grand Old Backslapping Party Taxpayer Bailout provided without the knowledge, consent or oversight of the American Taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

"Since sufficient money was provided to upgrade security why didn't those objectives get accomplished?"

Actually, budget requests have exceeded dollars received for many years.

Anonymous said...

And we know that the security funds we did receive were well managed and well spent.

Anonymous said...

"And we know that the security funds we did receive were well managed and well spent."

Well, we have not been hammered like LANL, if that point of comparison is worth anything.

Anonymous said...

The way to solve labs problem is to get out from under NNSA and become a DOE lab, that only does contract work for the NNSA. We have to form a politically active employee group that develops a proposal to this effect, and sell it to the Govt at the highest political levels.

If we sit on our butts without coming together on our own, our collective goose is cooked, and we should be looking for jobs outside.

Will that ever happen? I think not...because we are a spineless group of professionals who would even join the SPSE when looming disaster was obvious to even BLIND people!


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