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Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The NAS Report and UPTE’S Response Rally
From the JULY 2012 SPSE-UPTE Monthly Memo The NAS Report and UPTE’S Response Rally By Jeff Colvin On February 15, 2012 the National Academies (NAS) National Research Council released a congressionally mandated Report on their year-long study of the management of the nation’s national security laboratories: Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held a hearing on the NAS Report less than 24 hours after it was released. Motivating the study was the 2006-2007 transition of LANL and LLNL to private, for-profit monopoly management by Los Alamos National Security, LLC and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC. The NAS was charged with studying the effects of the management transitions on the Labs’ scientific and national security missions. The basic conclusions of the NAS Report were that scientific productivity, operational efficiency, and employee morale have all declined since the management transitions; and that the new for-profit, monopoly management structure costs more --- the NAS Report gives a range of numbers between ~$210 Million and more than $300 Million as the added yearly cost. The NAS found that excessive formalities, checklists, and oversight by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have put science at the Labs, and experimental science in particular, in jeopardy. The NAS Report attributes the decline of science at the Labs almost solely to excessive NNSA oversight, and completely misses the connection between excessive oversight and the milestone-driven Performance Bonus Incentive private company management structure. UPTE leaders and members have elaborated our arguments for why the for-profit monopoly management structure is at the root of the Labs’ problems in our written testimony to the HASC Hearing on 16 February. Our testimony can be seen in its entirety here. http://t.ymlp284.net/mhuhafajyuqakaubmafaembes/click.php In our later Response to the NAS Report, which we also submitted to Congress, we argue for de-privatization as the preferred solution to the problems identified in the Report, and even float a suggestion for how to get the de-privatization process started. Our Response can be seen in its entirety here. http://www.upte.org/spse/NASltr2_2012.pdf
Posted by scooby at 1:21 PM
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