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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DOE alters bid policies for national labs

Anonymously contributed:

DOE alters bid policies for national labs

How was this overlooked?

I guess we don’t care or are just so in agreement with current contracting practice.

DOE alters bid policies for national labs
RICHLAND — The Department of Energy no longer will automatically seek bids for management of national laboratories, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and may instead renew agreements with current contractors.

In a new policy statement, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the practice common under the previous presidential administration DOE alters bid policies for national labs under Chu's leadership, the decision on whether to open management contracts for competition will be decided case by case.

I know a few M&Os that would like to apply this decision retroactively.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I bet deep in the inner circles of UC they are happy with the new arrangement. They get more money. They have partners - the experts in business practices, security, facilities et al, that they can blame when things go wrong. And usually the things that go wrong are on those areas. Of course if NIF doesn't pan out, the SCIENCE portion of this deal falls under the UC's arena of expertise.

The contract allowed them to drop an older population of workers. I wonder if the group health insurance rates dropped a little for UC due to that fact.

UC got a limited liability contract. DOE had wanted UC to take responsibility, and they dodged that bullet again with the new contract.

With a private corporation comes a less transparent ownership. Those smoke filled rooms in the back now have locks on them.

And not only did UC get more money than what they were getting before, there are taxes to be paid and UC (through the state budget) gets a tiny piece of that pie.

And the lab employees who got shafted - well they never were REAL UC employees, just step kids - the red headed ones you don't put out the good china for.

Anonymous said...

So LLNL and LANL are now stuck with LLNS/LANS LLC (also know as Bechtel & BWXT) permanently.

That's just great, Dr. Chu!

Anonymous said...

oops! I made a mess... the next to last paragraph should read:

In a new policy statement, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the practice common under the previous presidential administration of routinely opening the lab contracts to competition often did not have the expected benefits of saving money and improving efficiency.

Under Chu's leadership, the decision on whether to open management contracts for competition will be decided case by case.


http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/northwest/story/1064168.html

Anonymous said...

What a sweetheart deal this for these two contractor.

It cost 1/10 or less for UC to manage the lab, it's employees and better benefits and we even had a real retirement program. Now we're willing to give $80M + a year for eternity to some for profit company, that's 10X times what it use to cost; for them cto gut and destroy LLNL, it's people and all she use to be. Way to go boneheads.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/northwest/story/1064168.html

Anonymous said...

...routinely opening the lab contracts to competition often did not have the expected benefits of saving money and improving efficiency.

Wow...it took them this long to figure out it costs ~20x to run LANL with LANS than it did with UC.

Sheer genius in DC. We really do get the government we deserve.

Darko said...

My first reaction was that this was more conspiracy to keep Bechtel in control of our Nuclear Weapons Laboratories.

I hope this is not true. I want to believe that Chu knows better, that he knows how bad Bloody Bechtel is for this country and DOE's "crown jewels".

I hope that despite the option to simply renew, that Chu, with the support of Obama will open the bidding and open the question of how/why Bechtel got it's whole body in the tent and get them back out.

It may be way too late to undo any of the significant damage that turning LANL/LLNL over to Bechtel has done, but it is still worth doing.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Chu care little about the nuclear weapons complex that makes up over 2/3rds of his annual DOE budget. He would just as soon let them rot away under the LLCs while he pursues his own "green" agenda.

This is a man who still takes Global Warming seriously, even after the UN climate researchers have been exposed as being fakes and charlatans.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. Give LLNL back to UC and give us back our retirement whereby we'll get service and years of credit back so we can all leave when we orignally intended.

Anonymous said...

Chu thinks we should paint all roofs white to fight global warming. Someone should tell him it's unnecessary since they're all covered with snow. Global warming?

Anonymous said...

The bad news is there's NO HOPE for the labs ever again. They're now in the hands of corporate America where CEO and ULM get the high wages and perks while the labor force is farmed out to the universities and foreign nationals, some of which will be overseas. Again, this will create a job shortage in America and eventually skilled labor to be abolished. This nations been on the wrong path since NAFTA and it's spiraling out of control more rapidly ten ever. All that could possibly turn this country around is a dictator with a brain who'd focus on what was good for the American people not the corporations. As you can see the president has virtually no power to make jobs.

Anonymous said...

February 12, 2010 4:06 PM: "As you can see the president has virtually no power to make jobs."

And that's the way it is supposed to be in a free country. Equality of opportunity, not of outcome. The best prevail. Government is limited and representative. Hell, why try to paraphrase the Founding Fathers? They said it best in the Constitution. We should pay attention, especially now.

Anonymous said...

February 12, 2010 7:58 PM

If this be the case we're in for a rocky road for decades to come. Maybe the 2035 recovery date I see advertise by the news media and "Walk Away" is more realistic then one wants to believe.

Anonymous said...

When Bechtel place their hooks into a stable and lucrative source of profits, they never let go.

Both LLNL and LANL have no further future as world class "science" labs. Bechtel will see to that. The money to be made in running the NNSA labs lay elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

DOE might as well just come out and say,

"All future NNSA lab contracts will be non-competitively handed over to Bechtel and BWXT".

The fix is clearly "in".

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