BLOG purpose

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 jlscoob5@gmail.com

Suggest new topics here

SUGGEST NEW TOPICS HERE

Submit candidates for new topics here only. Stay on topic with National Labs' related issues. All submissions are screened first for ...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Los Alamos management gets contract extension despite low score

New Mexico Business Weekly
January 17, 2013
Los Alamos management gets contract extension despite low score
- Gary Gerew

Federal officials gave the Bechtel-University of California group that runs Los Alamos National Laboratory $59.7 million for managing the lab in 2012 and also gave Los Alamos National Security LLC a one-year contract extension through a “one-time waiver” that was granted by the National Nuclear Security Administration, despite LANS’ failure to meet all the criteria for the extension.

LANS could have earned as much $74.5 million for the fiscal year and got 80 percent of that, according to the Albuquerque Journal. It was awarded $27.9 million in fixed fees and work for other entities and another $31.6 million as a so-called “at risk” fee based on performance.

The at-risk fee could have been as much as $46.5 million, but LANS got only 68 percent of the maximum. That was its lowest score since taking over the lab in 2006, according to the Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor.

LANS is supposed to earn at least 80 percent of the at-risk fee in order to win an “award term” extending the LANL management contract for an additional year.

That requirement was waived in this case by Neile Miller, NNSA’s principal deputy administrator, according to reports by both the Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor and the Los Alamos Monitor, according to the Journal.

A Dec. 7 letter from an NNSA official said Miller “expressed a desire to award LANS the (contract extension) award in recognition of LANS’ acceptance and accountability for problems” with a flawed security system at the lab and for “moving aggressively to correct the issues,” according to the Journal report.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder how LÅNS feels about getting a "fully mediocre" evaluation after having given that evaluation to thousands of the best scientists in the world for the last 7-years. What goes around, comes around....

Anonymous said...

It's embarrassing, ironical, etc. to find out that for all this time (past 5-years) I've been telling my management at LANL to get rid of poor performing employees to find out that LANS itself is a poor performing "employee".

Anonymous said...

According to this the minimum score for consideration of a contract extension was 80 and the earned score was 68. Looks like Smith did his job correctly and then Miller over ruled him. No one has cited a prior case where NNSA acted in this manner on a contract, so this could be a precedent.

No matter the outcome of any investigation over Miller's actions, and its impact on the future of the contract, a score of 68 would get a grade of D. Must be hard for parents that work at LANL to explain "Charlie math" to their children.

Anonymous said...

US Department of Energy
Office of Inspector General Hotline:
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) maintains a Hotline to facilitate the reporting of allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs or operations. If you wish to report such allegations, you may call, send a letter, or email the OIG Hotline as identified at the right. Allegations may be reported by DOE employees, DOE contractors, or the general public.

Issues that should be reported:

*Contract, Procurement, and Grant Fraud

Callers are encouraged to provide relevant and specific details of their complaints, including the identity of the person, company, or organization alleged to have engaged in wrongdoing; a description of the alleged impropriety; the DOE facility and program affected by the alleged misconduct; contract numbers; date(s) of alleged wrongdoing; how the caller is aware of the alleged impropriety; the identity of potential witnesses; and the identity and location of supporting documentation.

BY PHONE

D.C. Metro Area: (202) 586-4073
Toll free: (800) 541-1625
FAX: (202) 586-4902

BY E-MAIL

ighotline@hq.doe.gov

Individuals who contact the Hotline, via telephone or letter, are not required to provide their identity to the Hotline operator. However, persons who report allegations are encouraged to identify themselves in the event additional questions arise as the OIG evaluates or pursues their allegations

Anonymous said...

How about poorly desiged contract clauses, punishments that scare employees into inaction, budget uncertainties that focus all resources on adjustments rather that progress, wher we we report the strong negative impact of NNSA's micromanagement of both labs?

NNSA's incentive 2007-2008 contact redesign, where over $300M a year deliberately wasted in both labs in fees, tazes and increased benefits costs compated to management under UC is much larger than any other single foolishness done by either lab. It raises the quesion, why bother? NNSA deliberately degraded performance and employee compensation for a little more "management control", which judging from this LANL evaluation at least is leading to poorer performance.

Eliminate waste? then can NNSA management of the labs. That is the truth of it.

Anonymous said...

Today's Dilbert nicely sums up the situation at LANS with the Bechtel-ized management team. I suggest you give it a look:

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2013-01-18/


How true! This comic strip appears to be exactly how LANS upper management sees their situation. What an amazing amount of scientific rot has taken place at this lab since the salaries and perks of these guys and gals in management started rising sky high with the LLC.... Shhhhh! Can't discuss that issue. It's corporate proprietary info, don't 'cha know.

Anonymous said...

Suppose they had not extended the contract. They'd have to out for rebid. Can you imagine anyone at this point actually wanting to run any DOE Lab? I can't.

Anonymous said...

They must have had rules and procedures in place at NNSA to figure what to do when the contractor gets a failing score? Does anyone know what the actual policy would have dictated? Something like a 30 day fire drill to get a new contractor in place to ensure business continuity? Or is there no plan in place for such a contingency?

Anonymous said...

No, the losers finish their term and NNSA has to begin the process for awarding a new contract in the mean time. The interesting question is what they would do if they got no bids or no serious bids for managing the contract.

Anonymous said...

No, the losers finish their term and NNSA has to begin the process for awarding a new contract in the mean time. The interesting question is what they would do if they got no bids or no serious bids for managing the contract.

January 18, 2013 at 11:21 PM

There's always one cockroach that will find it's way there, LLNS/LANS being a good examples.

Anonymous said...

Well, look at a well-run lab (IMHO) like Sandia. Boeing pulled out of the bid process: http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2012/07/12/news/lockheed-wants-to-keep-sandia.html

So there's no competition, and if Lockheed pulled out there'd be no one at all trying to get that contract.

I can't imagine anyone wanting to take on LANL once Bechtel is done with it.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine anyone wanting to take on LANL once Bechtel is done with it.

January 19, 2013 at 9:54 AM

By the time Bechtel is done with LANL, they will have eaten every organ and sucked all the blood, leaving nothing but a dead carcass, if that's even left.

Anonymous said...

I've witnessed quite a few staff members cashing in their chips and leaving Los Alamos *AFTER* the recent VSP offer, even though it's been less than a year since the voluntary layoff. These are highly educated people who could have taken the VSP last April and left with almost 80% of their annual salary as a gift for their "buyout". Things have become so bad and demoralized under LANS that some of the best researchers on the LANL staff are giving up and getting out to save their sanity! They hoped to stay on a few more years after the VSP but can't stand it any longer.

It's been sad to watch this take place. I've even witnessed staff members break down and begin to cry when discussing the bleak situation at LANL under LANS. Any other management team would be better than LANS (aka Bechtel). Anyone. They've destroyed this lab.

Anonymous said...

It's been sad to watch this take place. I've even witnessed staff members break down and begin to cry when discussing the bleak situation at LANL under LANS. Any other management team would be better than LANS (aka Bechtel). Anyone. They've destroyed this lab.


January 19, 2013 at 7:03 PM

And the staff members "breaking-down" to cry are the scientists sitting at Hot Rocks for two-hour lunches planning which conference they are attending next. How do you think the LANL Weapon Engineers feel that were transferred (by Scott Gibbs and Bret Knapp) to the Facility Operations to mop floors, keep the bathroom fans running, and the toilets flushing?

Anonymous said...


"And the staff members "breaking-down" to cry are the scientists sitting at Hot Rocks for two-hour lunches planning which conference they are attending next. How do you think the LANL Weapon Engineers feel that were transferred (by Scott Gibbs and Bret Knapp) to the Facility Operations to mop floors, keep the bathroom fans running, and the toilets flushing?

January 19, 2013 at 8:16 PM"

People are not taking 2hour lunches at Hot rocks or planning their next conference. That is BS and you know it.

I am no friend of LANS. You can attack Knapp or Gibbs all you want but do not attack the workers at LANL, you just come off as so sad and bitter that you will strike out at anything and say nonsense. This just makes you look bad when you say things that are untrue.

Anonymous said...


The "I hate Knapp" guy sounds kind of obsessed and a bit crazy. Maybe he has a point about what happened to him but his continued public outbursts just make him look loopy and makes Knapp look good.

Anonymous said...

According to Charlie's brag note to employees, the contract extension is for 2018. The contract was already running through 2017, due to where Mike left things.

A different story is that a whistleblower gets to claim 25% of whatever the government gets back from a contractor that they report on. If the 10M that was paid back to the NNSA over the TA 55 fence security system is the basis, someone could have walked away with a cool 2.5M.

Anonymous said...

Conferences? DOE/NNSA and the labs super-obedient managers have made it so difficult to go on travel that conferences have largely been banned for most the lab's scientists. With the budgets looking bleak for the next few years, I doubt the situation will get any better.

Anonymous said...


I have never been to HotRocks but I am sure that scientists spend three or four hours a day there. I don't know any scientists but I am sure they are going to conferences in Tahiti for weeks on end about ten times a year. I am sad, bitter, and jealous. I blame the world for my own personal failings.

Anonymous said...

All this verbiage on Hot Rocks just goes to show you the really "soft skin" that LANL scientists have. God forbid that you challenge how much time they spend at Hot Rocks or the fact that they are unable to attend one less conference this year.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right, LANL scientists have easy, carefree, cushy lives, while the various line managers, program managers, administrators, auditors, et cetera continue selfishly slaving away for the good of the country and the institution.

Anonymous said...

" All this verbiage on Hot Rocks just goes to show you the really "soft skin" that LANL scientists have. God forbid that you challenge how much time they spend at Hot Rocks or the fact that they are unable to attend one less conference this year.

January 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM"

Ya the all the problems with the labs come from the scientists always has been.

Anonymous said...

Ya the all the problems with the labs come from the scientists always has been.

January 22, 2013 at 6:45 AM

Yep, do away with those pesky scientists and the labs will be much better places. Empty, but better.

Anonymous said...

Did everyone notice that Charlie McMillan finally stopped using the Grecian Formula. That low score really made him show his age.

Anonymous said...

Did everyone notice that Charlie McMillan finally stopped using the Grecian Formula. That low score really made him show his age.

January 22, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Yeah, he went from looking like young debonair Pierce Brosnan to a Donald Sutherland overnight. Humm, only his hairdresser and 9,560 direct employees know for sure. Come on Charlie, your old OK, admit it, what a con artist.

Anonymous said...



Charlie McMillan

Gonna drop the news today abut the LANL future and how great LANS is and so on. Not much will be said.

Anonymous said...

The information content in All-Hands meetings has become less and less each year. I doubt Charlie had anything important to say to the demoralized and broken workforce at today's meeting. Go back to sleep.

Matthew said...

This is applicable for all the distributors and the vendors in the Price Update tool. To help make this phase more efficient for you, the software is also equipped with the customer portal feature. This can help them easily identify the item that they are looking for in your product list.

contract management process

Posts you viewed tbe most last 30 days