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

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Are we better off with Akima and Jacobs?

Anonymously contributed: ------------------- During the past 18 months the prime construction contract supporting LLNS, commonly known as Labor Only, was re-competed. In fairness, that process was kept extremely close to the vest which reflects kudos to the leadership managing the process as this was a contentious topic. The standard lab factoid leakage did not occur; if this is a business example of Bechtel Management, it reflects high integrity on communication control. A small business leader participation was required for the bid. Lots of contract details, more then I or any non-participant truly know; what is known is that hundreds of millions of dollars of government construction work was on the line. In the end, no surprise, a Team comprised of Akima and Jacobs won the competitive bid. Why no surprise? Who is Akima? From the web I quote ....."Akima, LLC is a $1.2 billion holding company with 5,600 employees worldwide. Akima, LLC is uniting the strengths of three holding companies: Akima Management Services, LLC, Qivliq, LLC and Akmaaq, LLC. On October 1, 2012 these three holding companies officially become one company, Akima, LLC." Being fair, who is Jacobs? From the web I also quote....."Jacobs, with 2011 revenues of over $10 billion, is one of the world's largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional, and construction services. Building strong, long-term relationships with our clients is the key to our success as a company. Where is the small business? We know Akima, in one form or another, now controls the Prime Supplemental Labor service for LLNS. Jacobs has provided NIF with construction and engineering services for many years; probably safe to say they know NIF. Now both control the Prime construction service. If we need to hire an Engineer, drafter, designer to support our clients we have Akima Services as our provider. Then we have Akima Construction Services (aka ACS) to perform the work. Yes, for sure they are different companies. I am quite sure they have all signed the right documents to say they will never cross talk. How is this going to improve business, lower costs, increase efficiencies? The contract was changed during the 4th quarter of the fiscal year; the tightest financial quarter with least room for error. But was it? Some nasty rumors of favoritism are circulating on several fronts. The tightly knit selection committee was comprised of who exactly? A husband and wife (the IFM and Comp Operations Manager respectively), a former Jacobs VP (now a NIF Manager), a LLNS contract manager and a corporate Bechtel Manager. In fairness, I believe this was the composition of the Selection Committee, but I could be incorrect. Director Albright desires to cut costs. I challenge the lab to track, measure and honestly report if we are better off with these corporate giants.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

All I know is this. While FTE's LLNL i.e ex-UC employees get .1,.2,.3% the contracts have gotten much bigger raises than any TCP-1 or TCP-2 employee for the last five years. Talk about the tide turning big time. Now days it is better to be a contractor than an FTE ( if you're good ) and ( valuable ). Do I think the tight lip'd bidding was BS and unfair?They knew who they wanted and made it happen their way.

Anonymous said...

Most may not know this, Akima and the others in the LLC are companies of the Aleut Corporation (an Alaska Native Regional Corporation). All the shareholders (and receivers of its profits) of the corporation are Alaska native american tribes.

Anonymous said...

My belief is that Akima and it's subsidiaries are run by shrewd, money-centric fat cats. They are well versed in the write-offs, indirect corrupt business practices common to conglomerates and are agile in the ways of buying/winning contracts in the government military industrial complex. They treat their employees like offal. One of the reasons I left my stint at NIF, (I'm an engineering FTE) was the disgusting way I observed FTE's (middle manager's and supervisors) bullying and verbally harassing Akima employees. It was almost like watching the caste system at work in Bangalore. To say there may be an questionable relationship between NIF middle management and the liaison management at Akima is something that needs to be investigated.

Anonymous said...

Debate a sub choice all you want. It is beside the point. The way the LLC's are managing the Complex is a total failure. The fact, mention that the competition was tightly held, is also beside the point. Yes, Bechtel can keep secrets, most notably from employees. The real issue is, has Bectel, the major partner contributed to the Lab more than the fee that they extract, more than the 500 to 1000 employees laid off because of the LLC approach. I see no eveidence they have, have you? There have been some economies with bi-Lab buying power for benefits and other things, but the overall benefit is outweighed by the loss of a bigger partner, UC. We see this now in medical insurance costs and pension takeaways. NNSA cannot fully admit to this failure because they own it, and Bechtel as pointed out can keep a secret.

Anonymous said...

NNSA was forced to go to the LLC route by Congress and the failure of UC to manage LANL properly. As for Bechtel - have they done more harm than UC? After all, UC gave us NIF.

Anonymous said...

"NNSA was forced to go to the LLC route by Congress..."
September 4, 2012 7:24 PM probably flunked high-school civics class, if it's still tought in the abysmal CA school system. The legislative cannot "force" the executive to do anything. It was simply convenient for the DoE aparatchiks to privatize the labs, so that they would have more power over the them.

Anonymous said...

Rebuttal by September 4, 2012 7:24 PM to September 4, 2012 8:13 PM: Congress conrols the funding so in many cases they can force things. Congressman David Hobson (R) was on the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and he was not a fan of UC and thought the labs were a jobs program. The normal checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches were muted because the executive was conrolled by Republicans at the time, and Hobson was a Republican, too. Also, some Congressional Democrats were allied with Hobson, resenting the support/earmarks the New Mexico labs historically got from their reps. DOE had little choice but to go along. Even if they wanted to get in front of that freight train, why should they risk going to war for UC when all UC ever does in return is poke them in the eye and blame them for all the UC screw ups? I know people at LANL who even tried to blame DOE for the Wen Ho Lee situation. As for LLNL, why would DOE go to war for their benefits while NIF was being vastly oversold and also wildly escalating in cost, and the UC benefits were better than the military or the feds got? Actually, by selecting the bid teams for both LANL and LLNL that included UC as the main entity, they did their best to maintain some continuity. Amazing to me that so many posting here want to blame everything on Bechtel, or the DOE, as if the UC and the labs are so pristine. Look at all the problems that UC is currently having with finances - can you blame those on Bechtel and DOE, too?

Anonymous said...

There are two reasons for contractors,

1- to obtain temporary labor without making a lifetime employment commitment.

2- To spread buy political support by spreading the wealth a bit.

It doubtful, with the double administrative burden of contract administration, that the actually billed unit labor cost is much lower. Depending on how the lab accountants determine administrative overhead allocation, it could be lower.

Both Akima and Jacobs offer employees significantly less benefits but they are likely offset to some extent by the contractor overheads and the simultaneous LLNL overheads.

Anonymous said...

During the past week, ACS (Akima Construction Services) provided updated construction estimates to their customers throughout LLNL, for projects that were active in construction at transition from GSE. Across the board these estimates have ranged from 20% to 100% higher in costs then the prior subcontractor's estimates. Customers are refusing to fund the increase and are shutting down active jobs. Mission is stopping. As stated in the original post, there is little room for error in the 4th quarter. For those customers who are using operating funds, they have little means to increase their remaining FY12 budget for an 11th hour surprise and are forced to shut down. With 2 weeks left in the fiscal year they will probably lose some of their funds, or waste it on non-essential trivial procurements, further squeezing the system because of this transition. If this portends the effectiveness and business practices of ACS, no, we are not better off.

Anonymous said...

To September 5, 2012 8:54 AM; Suggest you call Akima and fact check. Akima benefits package are at near parity with LLNS. Pay is also slightly higher in substantial cases; historical remnant of the risk of shorter term employment.

Anonymous said...

My belief is that Akima and it's subsidiaries are run by shrewd, money-centric fat cats.

September 2, 2012 1:15 PM

Really?? Buzz words used only by people who are 1) also money-centric; 2) are not at all shrewd; and 3) wish they were "fat cats" but haven't a clue how to get there. Give up the clueless class-envy crap, and either get an education that will let you earn some real money, or just accept that you chose a loser's path in life.

Anonymous said...

Bret, is that you?

Anonymous said...

As far as the Akima Jacobs contract, the other companies never had a chance. It was all planned by the ex Vice President of Jacobs and the husband and wife team. How can this NOT be a conflict of interest.
These same individuals have decided to have a blacklist and decide who is allowed to make a living. I did not realize that we still lived in a McCarthy era community at LLNL. There are hard copies of emails circulating around showing blacklisted names and surnames. I have one in my hand right now. Someone should seek counsel for Defamation.

Anonymous said...

Go non-union and you'll save a bundle.
I was hoping Akima would replace the $80 union workers.

Anonymous said...

Really?? Buzz words used only by people who are 1) also money-centric; 2) are not at all shrewd; and 3) wish they were "fat cats" but haven't a clue how to get there. Give up the clueless class-envy crap, and either get an education that will let you earn some real money, or just accept that you chose a loser's path in life.
<<<<<<<<<<<
Heh. Akima Management Meltdown. Classic.

Anonymous said...

Heh. Akima Management Meltdown. Classic.

September 7, 2012 8:42 PM

Nope, just a self-made wealthy person who is tired of all the whining from lazy losers.

Anonymous said...

Projects all over LLNL are being shut down because of poor planning, or simply greed, on the ex Jacobs VP and the husband/ wife team. NIF did keep their construction contracts in place with Jacobs, Contra Costa Electric and the mechnciacal contractor until Oct. 1st. The rest of the lab had to go through a 4th quarter transfer. Lots of money lost, wasted government bucks, and the IFM/ Comp Operations Manager, and the NIF Duputy for Operations walk away smiling. Why? Why did NIF give us a hugh sack of crap, and they didn't take a hit like all of us? Where is the ethics in this? All we get is take the hit, look like failures to our customers, to the Feds, and the IFM wife team and the Jacobs VP in lab clothing smile their secret we-screwed-all-of-you smirks. The blacklist; also true. What kind of lab are you running Parney?

Anonymous said...

"Nope, just a self-made wealthy person who is tired of all the whining from lazy losers."

You know what they say, if you have to say that your are self-made and wealthy than you are neither.

Anonymous said...

Who do you think it was that sent in this original post? If I had two cents I'd bet it was some disgruntled ex-manager from GSE (aka Labor Only).

How many people are aware that the former leadership of Labor Only comprised a father and two of his sons?

What was the reason for that?

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