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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another damaging IG release on LANL

Coming so soon after the loss of a contract extension year, this report has to be bad news for the leadership. The TA-55 security fence construction cost and schedule over runs are laid out in terms that makes the lab look both incompetent and unaware. Double ouch!


Anonymous said...

Apparently fence construction is not LANL's forte.

Anonymous said...

The scope and complexity of NMSSUP is much greater than "fence construction." This fact in no way excuses the management failures by both LANL and NNSA/LAFO. However, to pretend that the project is so simple anyone could get it done is disingenuous at best, and reveals a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the project, as well as the challenges of the LANL NMSSUP site. However, if snark was your only goal, congratulations.

Anonymous said...

What a complete and total waste of money and resources.

Anonymous said...

I am the one that left the "snark" comment. Indeed I do not know of the scope and the complexity of the project. But when you read the report out of the gate it starts attacking fence construction. An outdated survey leads to the need of an unplanned retaining wall which in turn requires a change for a 2nd retaining wall. Price was 11 million, that's not chump change.

The pictures shown in the report are again of sub standard fence construction, below grade on one example and sloppy concrete pour of another. Those are the type of low tech low hanging fruit that you dangle in front of a politicians eye and he can understand that. And that's what the report comes out swinging with. Mis-management of a low-tech issue. I think the biggest issue I saw in the report was that LANL did not have the contractors/sub-contractors repair their shoddy work. I don't know if the contract was poorly written and there was no way to compel them to do so or oversight was so lax it allowed errors to stack up.

So if snark is what you think I was delivering, it was my interpretation of the leading bullets in the report.

Anonymous said...

1.23 PM

You can spin this all you want but at the end of the day it is a fence. A badly built fence but still a fence. Maybe the problem is that you made it into a complex problem. This is one of LANLs problems, you need to keep it simple. You can say all the bad things you want about Nanos but he understood like all good leaders that it needs to be kept simple. Your group needs to read some Malcom Gladwell. He explains much of this in his bood "Blink" and "What the dog saw". It was just a fence and should have been treated like a fence and it would have been done right.

Anonymous said...

From the IG report, it sounds like LANL put an inexperienced "part time" construction manager in charge of this huge $241 million dollar capital project and then kept reporting the project was doing well when, in fact, it had become a total disaster! This is the sort of stuff that Bechtel was suppose to be so great about managing if they were allowed to take over the lab.

Heckavajob, LANS. Time for 20% PBI bonuses for all LANL managers. Center of Excellence in large capital project management! What a sick joke.

Anonymous said...

Just in case you didn't read the report, LAFO was at least as culpable as LANL.

Anonymous said...

8:37 PM

Keep spinning for as long as you can. Unless your intent was to point out that more government oversight would have prevented the problems, it comes off as "blame anyone but LANL."

Anonymous said...

Unless your intent was to point out that more government oversight would have prevented the problems, it comes off as "blame anyone but LANL."

January 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM

My intent was to point out the actual content of the report, which many seem to have ignored, obviously a "blame LANL first" attitude. Unless the truth bothers you, there was no "spin."

Anonymous said...

In September it was the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, and now it is the TA-55 security fence construction project.

The IG is on a roll about management at Los Alamos, and it is not limited to construction project management. Reports faulting the culture such as the one last year on the LANSCE radiation contamination into the community were common in the later years of the UC era. As these stack up they can become harbingers of Congressional hearings and, unless LANS can turn it around, subsequent contract change.


September 26, 2013

The Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility Replacement Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory

While NNSA has recently taken action to address RLWTF replacement project issues, we observed that the NNSA and Los Alamos had not effectively managed the project over most of its lifecycle. Despite more than 7 years of effort, and the expenditure of $56 million, design work for the TRU facility has not been completed and the project's completion date is 11 years behind schedule. Furthermore, the total estimated cost for the replacement project has increased from $86 million to as much as $214 million, a 149 percent increase. Additionally, independent peer and internal control reviews have noted that NNSA and Los Alamos had not developed reliable life cycle cost estimates, used a Risk Management Plan, and applied Value Engineering principles to optimize the design of the facility.

Anonymous said...

9:58 pm's also at least three new buildings, new access control equipment in two of those buildings, cameras, sensors, lighting, and software integration.

The IG report is bad and what happened is bad - fair enough. But dumbing down what the project really is only shows your careless attitude toward relevant facts.

Anonymous said...

January 10, 2014 at 7:40 AM

Thank you for balancing out the snarkiness here.


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