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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 authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Thursday, February 16, 2012

NAS report released on lab management!

Anonymously contributed:
For what it's worth, which is not much in my opinion...
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NAS report released on lab management
02/15/2012

The National Academy of Sciences today has released a new report that evaluates how management and operations contracts of the National Nuclear Security Administration's national security labs are affecting the quality of science and engineering work.

The report concludes that scientists and engineers at the three national security laboratories (Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia) appear committed to their work and core mission of maintaining the country's nuclear weapons stockpile.

Recommendation 3-1:
The study committee recommends that Congress recognize that maintenance of the stockpile remains the core mission of the Labs, and in that context consider endorsing and supporting in some way the evolution of the NNSA Laboratories to National Security Laboratories as described in the July 2010 four-agency Governance Charter for an Interagency Council on the Strategic Capability of DOE National Laboratories.

Recommendation 3-2:
The study committee recommends that Congress and NNSA maintain strong support of the LDRD program as it is an essential component of enabling the long-term viability of the Laboratories.

Recommendation 3-3:
The study committee recommends that Congress reduce the number of restrictive budget reporting categories in the Nuclear Weapons Program and permit the use of such funds to support a robust core weapons research program and further develop necessary S&E capability.

Recommendation 4-1:
The study committee recommends that NNSA and each of the Laboratories commit to the goal of rebalancing the managerial and governance relationship to build in a higher level of trust in program execution and Laboratory operations in general.

Recommendation 4-2:
The study committee recommends that NNSA and the Laboratories agree on a set of principles that clearly lay out the boundaries and roles of each management structure, and also that program managers at headquarters, the Site Offices, and in the Laboratories be directed to abide by these principles.

Recommendation 4-3:
The study committee recommends that the goal of rebalancing the relationship and the set of principles laying out the boundaries and roles of each management structure be memorialized in memoranda of understanding between NNSA and its Laboratories. NNSA should assess performance against these understandings on an annual basis over a five-year period and report these assessments to Congress.

Recommendation 5-1:
The study committee recommends that the NNSA, Congress, and top management of the Laboratories recognize that safety and security systems at the Laboratories have been strengthened to the point where they no longer need special attention. NNSA and Laboratory management should explore ways by which the administrative, safety, and security costs can be reduced, so that they not impose an excessive burden on essential S&E activities.

Recommendation 5-2:
The study committee recommends that NNSA reduce reporting and administrative burdens on the Lab directors, and purposely free directors to establish strategic science and engineering direction at the Laboratories.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

What does it mean?

Anonymous said...

Common sense.

Anonymous said...

What does it mean?

February 16, 2012 6:43 PM

Nothing, just like all the studies on the Labs, it will tossed in the trash.

Anonymous said...

The report's thrust is blame NNSA for the woes. It has instilled the risk-adverse culture that the labs now have firmly entrenched in the day to day operations. What I find amusing is that the report states that the lab managers could push back on some of the idiotic requirements or that they enhanced the guidelines - one could say going the extra mile. The report dismisses the concept that Bechtel has blame in this. But one needs to realize that NNSA chose the Bechtel lap dog because it was good at jumping when NNSA said jump.

The report admonishes congress to remember what the mission of the labs is, but that's going to fall on deaf ears. Congress is not very good at admitting their mistakes but very good at slinging mud and playing the blame game.

What speaks volumes is where they question Miller's estimate of 130 million of "lost money" in the new paradigm where they could only come up with 70 million. If you accept just that 70 million dollar figure you can see the tax payer lost out on this bid.

In the end, it will end up as a footnote in the history of the downward spiral of the laboratories.

Anonymous said...

What I find amusing is that the report states that the lab managers could push back on some of the idiotic requirements or that they enhanced the guidelines - one could say going the extra mile. The report dismisses the concept that Bechtel has blame in this. But one needs to realize that NNSA chose the Bechtel lap dog because it was good at jumping when NNSA said jump.

February 16, 2012 9:54 PM

Bingo. Bechtel will not push back on any requirement that has a PBI behind it with a nice check behind it, even if means cheating, begging, stealing, pillaging, or horse-whipping the employees to get it done. Perfect example, are the PBI goals tied to shipping waste to WIPP. The folks in this program are treated like they work in a Chinese "sweatshop".

Anonymous said...

Except for the shrinking responsibilities of the weapons support programs, nothing that the labs do matters. That's why letting Bechtel run them, rather than a first tier manager is ok. Bechtel gets $70M, it tithes 10% to politicians, they get re-elected. Hookers, decorators and hoteliers make a pile o' dough and life goes on in the ghetto of modern American politics.

Believe its time for a campaign finance constitutional amendment yet?

Anonymous said...

This 200 plus page doorstop of a report is the (n+1)th versionof what's wrong with the NNSA Labs ans how to correct the situation. Sadly, it probably will enjoy the same fate as the last n versions.

Other than the first recommendation, all the rest of them have been offered up several times before. The first one is a tad different, and was the 'signature' issue for the GS organizations at LLNL and LANL as they looked to diversify the sponsor base. Albright and Reese have both gone on to other positions, leaving SNL to pick up more of the WFO.

Anonymous said...

This report will be completely forgotten by summer and things will continue on their dismal path of decline under NNSA's micro-management, just as before.

The comments about Bechtel being paid to do this extreme micro-management at the nuclear "science labs" is oh, so true. Unless you take them out of the equation nothing will really change. They are paid to beat up the lab employees with insane "zero level" safety and security requirements. It's how they make their annual profits.

Anonymous said...

Albright and Reese have both gone on to other positions, leaving SNL to pick up more of the WFO.

February 17, 2012 11:06 AM

Are you telling me Parney Albright has already retired from LLNL? I guess the LLNS/LANS Senior Managers only need 1-month on the job to get "vested" in their 100% funded pension program. Any bets on who the new LLNS Director will be? Please take Knapp. He wants to be close to his "mommy" in Livemore.

Anonymous said...

Why does no one seem to be working ?

Anonymous said...

Why does no one seem to be working ?

February 18, 2012 1:17 PM

Is that you Knapp! WTF are you doing here? Keep reading maybe you'll learn something!

Anonymous said...

Look at the President's budget request for FY13. Again, 97 employees for LSO!

What good could all these people do?

If you want to reduce the bureeaucracy, you need to reduce the number of bureaucrates.

Anonymous said...

This NAS report will be quickly forgotten at LANL once the big layoffs begin. The staff will be moving into "survival mode".

Whenever layoffs hit it is never "what you know" but "who you know". RIFs are very ugly and messy and produce huge amounts of anxiety in the workforce. This next one planned for LANL will be no different.

Anonymous said...

They completely missed the mark.

The key finding. The Privatization of LLNL cost the US taxpayers $100M per year with no discernible benefit.

IT IS THE WORST MISUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS DOE HAS EVER MADE. WORSE BY TWO THAN THE SOLYNDRA MISCUE.

Anonymous said...

IT IS THE WORST MISUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS DOE HAS EVER MADE. WORSE BY TWO THAN THE SOLYNDRA MISCUE.

February 22, 2012 2:47 AM


And it happened under a republican president, a republican congress, and a republican secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham. Noteworthy is also that this guy as a senator wanted to abolish DOE.

Anonymous said...

Noteworthy is also that this guy as a senator wanted to abolish DOE.

February 23, 2012 7:00 AM

Yeah but he didn't complete the deed, i.e., get rid of this worthless organization.

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