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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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Nuclear Weapons Complex Reform Could Mean Pay Cut For Contractors

The DOE/NNSA defined purpose of the LANL and LLNL contractors (LANSLLNS) is to move forward defined Lab missions in a manner that promotes science and engineering in support of continuing national need. For doing so, LANSLLNS are paid. 

In fact, LANSLLNS are paid more (profit) and accomplishing less than when LANL and LLNL were managed under UC. This has created a move within DOE/NNSA to restructure and significantly reduce your "profit" and self-defined primary purpose of LANSLLNS to a "public interest model" in the attempt to rectify the failed contractor to mission relationship. I'm sorry but your profit focused view of LANSLLNS is out of sync with DOE/NNSA Lab expectations and Lab results. Go figure? 

"...Associate Deputy Energy Secretary Bruce Held has been questioning whether what he describes as "large fees" currently paid to manage the weapons sites are the best way to motivate all players involved.

Performance at the national labs might actually improve, the former CIA officer says, if less money went toward the fees meant to motivate the management companies that run the sites, and if more funds went directly to the scientific work that the facilities conduct.

"What motivates the people at the national laboratories is excellence in science and bringing excellence in science to the interest of the nation … They're not motivated by profit incentives," Held told Global Security Newswire in a recent interview. "They're human beings, they need a salary -- you can motivate them at the margins by giving them a pay raise or a pay decrease or something like that -- but their core motivation and what makes them tick is scientific excellence.

"So if I have a choice between a dollar of fee for the … contractor that runs it, or a dollar in lab-directed research and development and I want to motivate scientific excellence, I'd go with" the dollar in lab-directed research and development, Held continued.

It is not completely clear, however, how Held, who says he was coaxed out of retirement from federal service specifically to work on the contracts question, would reconfigure the current for-profit approach.

Held, who completed a 10-month stint as acting head of the Energy Department's semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration last month, advocates for moving toward a "public interest model." He suggests, however, that he and other officials working for Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz are still wrestling with exactly what that means.

One significant change that appears to be in the works is an effort to make the maximum fee potentially available to the contractor smaller, and to have much of that fee be based on a fixed amount.

For example, in fiscal 2012, Los Alamos National Security, a limited liability company formed by Bechtel, Babcock & Wilcox, URS Corp. and the University of California, had the potential to earn up to $74.5 million for its management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, roughly 3 percent of the facility's $2 billion budget for that year.

Based on an annual performance evaluation, the government ultimately paid the company $59.7 million, 80 percent of what it could have earned with a perfect performance rating.

In the future, however, a facility like Los Alamos might be paid a fee that is only 1 percent of the site's budget, or closer to $20 million, an NNSA official explains. Most of that fee -- say, $18 million -- would be a fixed, guaranteed payment, meaning only a $2 million portion could be reduced due to less-than-stellar performance..."

http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/nuclear-weapons-complex-reform-could-mean-pay-cut-contractors/

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...Performance at the national labs might actually improve, the former CIA officer says, if less money went toward the fees meant to motivate the management companies that run the sites, and if more funds went directly to the scientific work that the facilities conduct..."

If DOE/NNSA do in fact restructure the nature of the contracts to run LLNL and LANL, how will the current batch of LANSLLNS managers adapt to the new set of DOE/NNSA priorities?

If the Lab management structures become "flattened " and funding authority is transferred directly to scientific and engineering work (decentralized decision-making process), layers of middle management $$$ overhead can and will likely be eliminated.

The LANSLLNS management view where they are "successful winners" and the engineering and scientific staff are just "worker bees" and "easily replaced", will be turned on its head.

Will these managers return to the "worker bee" ranks, or will they face "business need" lay offs as "at will" employes, subject to employment policies they helped define?

Anonymous said...

At least with LANL this week, NNSA woke up and acted like an adult. Shocking news, and long overdue.

Charlie, Terry and the rest of the senior management look to be out the door this year. With a new contract, perhaps some real leadership will emerge.

Anonymous said...

"Charlie, Terry and the rest of the senior management look to be out the door this year. With a new contract, perhaps some real leadership will emerge.

December 30, 2014 at 9:48 AM"

This is they key. The management culture at LANL become utterly rotten under LANs. There are classics signs of bad management
If you look at the below list it seems to describe LANL management to a tee. Another factor is that managers only talk with each other and reinforce this broken management culture.

1. Miserable Employees

Positive and straight-forward communication typically go much further than disciplinary measures and threatening language. This is an important lesson for every manager.

2. A Big Ego

Managers who have a political or personal agenda are also likely to have big egos. While it is natural to think that people in positions of power develop big heads, effective managers act as team players, not dictators. Managers that are constantly taking the credit for the work of their employees are often feeling personally threatened. Acting with a big ego is a defense mechanism and is a poor way to manage workplace situations.

3. Low Productivity

Employees who feel that their bosses are ego-maniacs also find it hard to produce as much as employees in happier workplaces. This is easy to understand: There is little to no motivation to be an efficient or effective worker when your boss never goes the extra mile to encourage or reward your performance. One of the clearest signs of poor management is indecisiveness. Managers who do not set goals and expectations for their employees will end up with low productivity units.

4. Resistance to Change

Change is inevitable and yet poor managers are afraid of it. This, like having a big ego, has to do with feeling threatened by employees or situations. Effective managers are able to embrace innovation and change, and to manage employee problems before they become crises. Poor managers have no idea how to do this and instead are constantly looking for quick fixes.

5. One-Way Communication

It should come as no surprise that poor managers are also poor listeners. Employees want and deserve to be heard. Effective managers listen to their employees, consider alternative viewpoints, and are fair decision-makers. If you find your boss avoiding conversation, you can count this among the signs of bad management skills. Likewise, managers that can't take constructive criticism are probably not skilled leaders, as effective managers are able to motivate a team while simultaneously listening to the team's suggestions.

Anonymous said...

It will mean on thing, and one thing only, A GANG RAPE OF CURRENT EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES.

Anonymous said...

"Charlie, Terry and the rest of the senior management look to be out the door this year. " - 9:48 am


Wishful thinking, 9:48. You may be surprised to find them still in their highly compensated jobs come this summer.

They'll just hope this long list of stinking fiascos blow over and everyone forgets about them soon enough... which they usually do. Your farts may stink but theirs *always* smell like expensive French perfume.

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