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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. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Probe Sought of U.S. Lab Security Plan

Contributed anonymously:

Probe Sought of U.S. Lab Security Plan
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A pair of Republican lawmakers on Monday requested a review of an Obama administration plan to alter security and safety management rules governing U.S. national laboratories, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Nov. 17, 2009).

Situations at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California in recent years have demonstrated the need for security and safety reforms at such facilities, the lawmakers said (see GSN, March 26, 2009; Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal, March 31).

imo, if there's a need for continued reforms at these (or any other sites), DOE/NNSA has hired the wrong contractor. And, as you know, the DOE/NNSA hires other contractors to tell the site contractor what they're doing wrong & how it should really be done.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Anonymous said...

"And, as you know, the DOE/NNSA hires other contractors to tell the site contractor what they're doing wrong & how it should really be done." -- it was all about cost and who was going to give the best benefits to ULM.

Anonymous said...

There is a natural and unavoidable conflict of interest in having DOE oversee the safety/security of its contract run labs. The DOE inspectors/regulators have to find problems in order to justify their existence, while the DOE program offices in Washington don't want to pay extra for unneeded safety/security at the sites. So the contractors get caught in the middle.

The NRC, OSHA, and EPA should regulate the labs just like the do for most of the country, including federal sites. I would also have the Dept of Homeland Security in charge of regulating and inspecting the labs.

If DOE wants a contractor to go beyond want is required under the law by the NRC, OSHA, EPA and DHS, then they should be paying the contractor the cost of doing these things.

Anonymous said...

April 3, 2010 1:11 PM

I agree. DOE oversight is broken. The worthless bureaucrats keep adding more and more meaningless requirements in order to perpetuate their existence.

This white-collar welfare in the name of safety and security results in the cost of doing business as a DOE organization being much more than the private sector.

We just had numerous people working all last week doing paperwork for a 15-minute repair that was about as risky as changing the doorbell button. We have to protect against nonsense security risks.

Eventually they will kill off all work. The only good thing about that will be that these parasites will then die also.

Anonymous said...

"The DOE inspectors/regulators have to find problems in order to justify their existence, while the DOE program offices in Washington don't want to pay extra for unneeded safety/security at the sites."

April 3, 2010 1:11 PM

As regards security at NNSA sites, your argument might have made sense several years ago. Since then, security and safeguards at the labs is a direct-funded program, just like the NW program. Also, the DOE people doing the inspections are funded from the same source. So while the science and NW programs aren't stuck anymore for security problems, the conflict of interest has been compounded.

Anonymous said...

"Since then, security and safeguards at the labs is a direct-funded program ..."

The direct funded security dollars originally came from a skim off DOE's other programmatic dollars in FY01.

In additon, the security bureaucrats in NNSA have been "clarifying" what these dollars can be used for, and at LLNL it will mean in FY11-12 that the cost of many "security" functions will be shifted from security to direct program charges or indirect "taxes."

You will be more and more for less and less.

Anonymous said...

Since then, security and safeguards at the labs is a direct-funded program...

It might be direct funded but, just whose driving the ever larger budget is the real issue. It's sure not DOE/NNSA as they only react to the influence of Congress & others

Anonymous said...

It's time to seriously think about segmenting how the NNSA labs work on programs.

Programs and projects that don't require uber-security levels shouldn't be burden with overhead taxes to pay for services they don't require.

The current path of increasingly high burden rates is killing off science and non-NNSA funded projects at the NNSA labs.

Anonymous said...

At Los Alamos the funds used to pay for security are skimmed directly from the projects funded by customers, often with the customer having no idea this is happening. There is no correlation between which programs (UNCL or classified) are taxed to cover security, and the required security levels of the programs.

Recently the PAD for Global Security, Will Rees, has restructured his directorate in such a way as to require a new additional tax on the order of $15K/year per high-side badge. The customers paying for these additional taxes do not realize the funds are coming out of their programmatic budgets. Ironically, the previous cost structure for funding SCIF's remains in place to Rees's new tax. Why should the customer have to pay for management restructuring?

Anonymous said...

The current path of increasingly high burden rates is killing off science and non-NNSA funded projects at the NNSA labs.

April 6, 2010 11:12 AM

You might alsmost think that's what NNSA wants.

Anonymous said...

Will Rees, PAD for LANL's Global Security, is turning out to be another Washington DC blowhard hired mainly for his name and his supposed "good connections". He's doing nothing much to grow the programs under his domain and attempting to empire grab and tax just about everything in sight!

As far as outside customers being completely in the dark about Ree's new, exorbitant annual charges to cover high clearance tickets for program staff... well, I guess they know it now. Maybe they should give Mr. Ree a call and start asking him about it.

While they are at it, they might also want to ask him why NNSA recently stuck WFO programs with a special 4.5% annual tax that is charged only to outside customers and supposedly destined for for "security" expenses (as if the already high G&A rates don't already cover this!).

Anonymous said...

4/7 3:46 pm: "At Los Alamos the funds used to pay for security are skimmed directly from the projects funded by customers"

Wrong! You might want to educate yourself a little. NNSA Safeguards and Security has been direct funded under congressional line item for many years now. Look it up.

Anonymous said...

Of course, no LANL managers will question the new high taxes, because anyone doing so has his head handed to him on a platter. Rees has created an Orwellian ambiance on the top floor of the administrative building.

Is this the collegial and productive atmosphere you intended for us, Mike? Gee, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Is this the collegial and productive atmosphere you intended for us, Mike? Gee, thanks.

April 8, 2010 8:27 PM


Well, seeing how Mike has given his attack dog, Brett Knapp, as much power as possible at LANL to bully people around, it appears to be a trend with him, doesn't it?

I have long since come to the sad conclusion that Mike Anastasio doesn't give a rat's ass about the regular scientific staff members who work well beneath him down in the trenches. As Director, he's in it for the money. The same probably goes for Miller at LLNL, as well.

If anyone had told me 3 years ago that the labs would descend into a state of mis-management as bad as what we see at the present time, I wouldn't have believed it.

There is no hope for improvement until both NNSA and their sleazy, for-profit LLCs are removed from the labs and that will never happen.

Anonymous said...

"Wrong! You might want to educate yourself a little. NNSA Safeguards and Security has been direct funded under congressional line item for many years now. Look it up."

No, you are the one who does not understand. Although security is direct funded, what is or is not security is subject to interpretation. LANL was so beat up with their Compliance Order that there was no way they could fund their recovery by just using direct funded security dollars. If you audited their books, you would be amazed at what is paid for by other funds.

As was noted in an earlier post, the times are also changing at LLNL. Over the next two years less and less will be paid for by security dollars. Guess where the shortfall will come from!

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