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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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

White House Commissions Study of Laboratory Governance Structure

Anonymously contributed: A bit more on the WH study. Koonin understands the Lab's (he also oversaw CalTech's contract to run NASA's JPL), maybe something will actually come out of this. Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor April 6, 2012 White House Commissions Study of Laboratory Governance Structure -Todd Jacobson Former DOE Under Secretary for Science Koonin to Lead Institute for Defense Analyses Study. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has tasked the Institute for Defense Analyses’ Science and Technology Policy Institute to study the governance structure of the nation’s federal laboratories... The White House is believed to be keenly interested in preserving science and technology at the laboratories, especially on the heels of several reports that have been critical of the NNSA’s weapons laboratories. Two recent reports from the National Academy of Sciences—one on management of the laboratories and another on the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty—have urged drastic changes at the weapons laboratories. The NAS study on lab management called the NNSA’s relationship with its labs “dysfunctional” and “broken,” while the NAS CTBT study recommended that the agency re-evaluate how it oversees work at the labs, suggesting that the number of requirements and directives impacting work at the facilities while shifting contract incentives toward the technical success. The White House “wants to see reform,” one official with knowledge of the OSTP’s interest in the subject told NW&M Monitor, but it also has a “strong interest in science remaining strong” at the labs and “they want to make sure that’s maintained.” OSTP Concerned With ‘Suitability’ of Governance According to information obtained by NW&M Monitor, the White House is specifically interested in the pluses and minuses involved in each governance structure used at the laboratories and the “suitability” of the governance structures for “future national security challenges.” While DOE national laboratories operate under a government owned contractor operated model, Department of Defense laboratories typically are owned and run by the government. DoD also uses research centers affiliated with universities to meet some of its research needs. Koonin has been notably outspoken about the state of the science at the NNSA’s weapons laboratories, and at a public meeting during the NAS lab management study, he suggested that the switch to private management of the labs had taken its toll on science. .... House Lawmakers Welcome Study The request for the study comes as interest in how the nation’s laboratories are managed continues to grow. In addition to the recent NAS studies, the National Academy of Public Administration is studying oversight at the national laboratories at the direction of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee and leaders on the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee are expected to introduce some NNSA reform measures in the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act. The top two lawmakers on the House subcommittee, Reps. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), said they were happy to see the White House “engaged” on the governance issue in a statement issued April 4. “In our oversight of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s national labs, we’ve become concerned about a governance structure that the National Academies of Science recently called ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘broken.’ We must ensure these national labs are setup to face the many nuclear security challenges facing the nation, and we look forward to taking some concrete first steps at reform in the upcoming fiscal year 2013 defense authorization bill to improve oversight that will enable a safe, cost-effective work environment and preserve scientific and engineering excellence at the laboratories,” Turner and Sanchez said.


Anonymous said...

Another study! How many studies do we need to determine the obvious, that the LLCs running LANS/LLNS/SNL are failed concepts. Make a decision White House, make a decision!!

Anonymous said...

The White House “wants to see reform,” one official with knowledge of the OSTP’s interest in the subject told NW&M Monitor, but it also has a “strong interest in science remaining strong” at the labs and “they want to make sure that’s maintained.”

It's too late Obama! The Labs Science Corpse is being buried now. It died about 5-years ago!

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Obama would never offend a big contributor in an election year! It's all B.S.

Anonymous said...

Must be an election year.

Anonymous said...

This is all a political show. I'll say it again just in case someone still has not received the message:

*** NO ONE CARES. ***

Simple as that. You have plenty of previous evidence to proof that point. Get on with your lives.

Anonymous said...

It is so dysfunction. and yes. NO ONE CARES. Sad.

Anonymous said...

ha, ha, ha.

Blundering federalist do-gooders.
Big egos look for grand solutions, where humility and minimalism is demanded.

Why does every northeasterner think he/she has the solutions to everyone elses problems?

The Hillary Clintonization of the world: Claim we are a village, create a vocal minority and tell everyone else what to do.

This model has failed in Europe, where borrowing hides the lack of austerity and hard work by individual citizens.'

"Let's steal from the rich! Those productive and frugal sots that actually take care of themselves. Make them take care of me too!"

And while we are at it, let's disarm. That feels as good at making others pay for our shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

"Let someone else pay my bills".

"O yeah, and my wife's contraceptives and my levitra as well."

Barack O'bama

(the first beneficiary of affirmative action, the easier path)

Anonymous said...

"But Romney earned his way, very well, I might add..."

" Therefore. He must be evil, because he makes me envious; what with being a handsome white guy, with the millions he's earned, his beautiful family, his close ties to his Creator, and a wife that looks to be geniunely fun to romp with."

"Yep, he must be evil. ...Can't earn success, must be a deal with the devil."


Anonymous said...

Wow, can't confine yourself to one rant a day, huh? Want to actually post something interesting and intelligent? Right-wing talking points are really boring, almost as much so as left-wing talking points. That all you got?

Anonymous said...

"his close ties to his Creator, and a wife that looks to be geniunely fun to romp with."

Close ties to his creator? Is this like political ties, or business ties?

Anonymous said...

How quickly we forget. Yes, it is "just another study", but Koonin may have some issues with the quality of the science leadership that is present at the Labs. If the quality of the science has declined it is easy to place blame on the system, not the leadership. Once upon a time, Koonin had ambition to be one of those leaders. It will be interesting to see if this study concludes that the blame for the quality decline rests not so much with the system, but with the leadership.
After the GSA and SS scandals, this could be a different story from the stacks of earlier studies.

Anonymous said...

I don't think privatization of LLNL has been all bad. Some bad, some good (I know this post will bring some flaming responses). The mid level management (the part I see) has actually improved. What has been made worse is the sheer number of the managers. We have managers that manage one person. One! That's is how bloated management is. Also bad is there is more concern projects are done on time and budget, whether they are done well is unimportant to management. I assume the incentive structure has a lot to do with that. The science seems almost an afterthought for the projects. But the timeline, project management requirements and progress reports, now THAT is important!


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