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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fee question

Anonymously asked:

Is it true that the lower the LLC fee; the more funds are retained by the operating organization to apply to lab infrastructure?


Anonymous said...

Short answer is no.

From UC information documents...

"The contracts themselves are of a type known as advance funded, cost reimbursement, award fee contracts. These are characterized by direct NNSA reimbursement to the Companies [LLNS and LANS] of all “allowable costs” incurred by the Company. For this purpose the Companies are authorized to draw from the Federal Reserve Bank, on a daily basis, all funds necessary to cover routine payroll and other operational expenses, the consequence being that neither the Companies nor their parent organizations [UC, Bechtel, et al] need to supply any significant amount of working capital to finance the Companies’ operations."

Anonymous said...

To clarify the question....

If the total of LANL funding for the year is say $2B, and instead of earning the full possible award fee of say $90M, LANS LLC is awarded only $75M, does the difference of the possible fee and the awarded fee, $15M in this example, get refunded to the government and WFO sponsors or does it get retained and spent by LANL as lower overhead?

In other words, if the fee awarded is reduced, do lab budgets benefit?

There is a lot of money at stake each year in award fees for all labs perhaps $500M over five years and the federal deficit is large. If it benefits the government to freeze salaries, perhaps employees actively helping to reduce award fees is helpful as well.

Anonymous said...

If a PEP is not satisfied, that bonus money remains in the lab budget instead of going to the LLC. (What a great incentive for employees: more money for LLNS, less for the lab, and no raises or bonuses either way.)

Anonymous said...

Keep the labs funded... make sure the PBIs fail and the LLC gets a low grade so their corporate award fee (taken out of the operating budget) is REDUCED!

Now, in addition to no raises until at least early 2014, you've got yet another reason to put in the minimal effort at LLNL and LANL. Heckavajob, NNSA!

Bert Jorgensen said...

I recognize that there could be some sarcasm here, but I find it appalling that people would consider intentionally under-performing. Where is your sense of ethics? The comments made so far are wrong, plain and simple.

I can commiserate with the complaints on this site--I'm not too excited about going without a raise for two years either (especially with the crummy deal we've gotten the past few years). But I'm still showing up every day, putting in the same level of effort that I always have, because that is who I am and who I want to be.

Why all the whining about the award fee? Get over it or go work for GM -- oh wait, their management pockets even more than ours.

I've decided not to hide behind an anonymous tag, so have at me.

Anonymous said...

Bert, your courage is inspiring, however, you fail to recognize that most if not all of the "whining" is from folks that cannot "go work for GM" or anyone else. The first 4 decades of UC management resulted in most employees being in indentured servitude to UC - no way out except for the very generous pension plan. The mindset if not the actuality, still exists. "I can't leave because I am a weapons worker, and no one else hires weapons workers." It is a peculiar kind of shackle, but a strong one. A self-defeating kind of blindness to transferability of skills. Also a kind of destructive complacency that still allows "principled whining" that only deepens the depression and lack of resolve to make your situation better.

Anonymous said...

Bert agree with you, I try "real hard" too. We are so special.

Great reward, great effort.
Little reward, little effort.
That's why the labs are bonus-based. Congruence.

Treated fairly, treat fair.
Get f****d, ah, it's just a job.

Let the bonus babies do the heavy lifting.

s/quietly uninspired

Anonymous said...


If I can't have a positive impact on my income here, please explain why I shouldn't concentrate on expanding the consulting practice so I cover the next kid's upcoming college expenses?

Steve can wait two years for that next great idea, right. We've done enough for a while, No?

The stockpile ages two years whether we achieve greatness or focus on making up the wage difference elsewhere right?

Anonymous said...

" but I find it appalling that people would consider intentionally under-performing."

Being a slow learner, I was thinking more of a substantially equivalent in the aggregate performance, which in practice seems to be somewhat less eachpassing year.

Anonymous said...

I'm a tired old mule. Put carrots in front of me, I trudge. Otherwise, I stand and poop.

Anonymous said...

We are suppose to earn 100% of our salary, not just the fractional increase. The people that are gamers will keep pushing hard. Either at the Lab or in new situations, where yes, they will likely make more money. Feel empowered to take a look around. You might end up with a new situation, or at least less envious.


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