LLNL Director's update of FY13, FY14 budget decisions
update comes at a time of evolutionary change for our Laboratory. We
have experienced the departure this month of 399 employees through the
Self-Select Voluntary Separation Program (SSVSP) and said farewell to
many of our colleagues as they begin new experiences. Much has happened
since my last update, and I want to thank you for your patience. I know
this message is long in coming -- it was important to wait until I had
accurate information to give you.
These past weeks, I have been
working closely with Laboratory senior managers to pursue all available
options to address the many challenges we have faced due to
sequestration in FY13, as well as the proposed budget for FY14. Finding
solutions that provided the least impact to employees has proved more
complicated than anticipated...
While it has been difficult to
adjust to the void left behind by our colleagues who participated in the
SSVSP, its outcome will help right-size the Lab to meet the unfolding
elements of the proposed FY14 budget and beyond. We must now look to
ways to address the workload that had once been filled by those
employees, while living with the reduced funding brought on by
sequestration. We are in the process of identifying those areas and
organizations that were significantly impacted by the SSVSP so that we
can get back to a balanced level of service and a balanced workload for
We are in the process of adjusting to a new budget
reality for FY13 that is $100 million less than anticipated prior to
sequestration, and have addressed this challenge through a number of
adjustments and actions - including cost cutting in procurements, travel
and overtime; reprogramming actions, staffing changes associated with
the SSVSP and supplemental labor; and other actions.
these actions and the follow-through commitment of the senior management
team, I am announcing the cancellation of the Lab's salary
reduction/closure day program. However, it is clear we cannot return to
past spending practices. We must continue to manage this gap through
actions such as those listed above.
Consistent with benefit plan
needs, the Lab will make the $40 million employer contribution this
fiscal year to the TCP1 pension plan, as originally planned.
Participating employees will see their contributions increase from 5
percent to 7 percent as initially planned beginning July 1 (paycheck
date of July 19). We believe these combined efforts will ensure our
pension plan remains strong.
I understand these announcements
answer many of your questions, but also raise a few more. I want to
thank you for diligent efforts to stay focused, and I ask for your
patience as we continue to align the Lab to its fiscal realities. As
always, I promise to keep you informed as I receive additional details.
the coming weeks and months, we will take some time to assess our
workforce and reset expectations. Because external hiring will be
restricted for the next 12 months to a ceiling established under the
SSVSP, there will be challenges in redeploying staff to responsibly fill
gaps created by the SSVSP. It is important that we have an open
dialogue with our sponsors to adjust expectations resulting from lower
budgets and staffing levels.
Because of the impacts on the
workforce, and the potential for getting distracted by these larger
issues as we carry out our work, it is essential that we carry out a
period of "deliberate operations" -- providing additional direct and
sustained management and employee attention on ensuring safe, secure and
compliant mission performance. Remember, you are always encouraged to
use the safety pause authority today and everyday when faced with a
The missions this Lab performs are important to the
nation. Despite the stresses the current budget environment puts on this
Lab (and the larger national security enterprise) we will continue to
innovate and do great things for the nation.
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