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Monday, January 5, 2015

LLNS Staff Relations

Fact: LLNS Staff Relations activities, practices, and performance are outside of the annual NNSA LFO "Performance Evaluation Report" grading metrics.

LLNS Staff Relations actions and performance are NOT evaluated by the NNSA Livermore Field Office in their annual “Performance Evaluation Report”, independent of stated NNSA Livermore “Employee Concerns Program” directives.

The two FOIA requests and DOE/NNSA responses below may be of interest to LLNS and LANS employees. 

Background:

The FOIA document requests were to be extractions of the NNSA FY 2013 Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) “Performance Evaluation Report” written by the NNSA Livermore Field Office at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the period of October 2012 through September 2013, under the direction of (former) NNSA Livermore Field Office Manager Kim Davis Lebak. Kim Davis Lebak is now the NNSA Los Alamos Field Office Manager (effective January 2014). 

In 2012 and 2013, within the LLNS FY 2013 Performance Evaluation Report period, I was working with the NNSA Employee Concerns Manager in the attempt to resolve LLNS employment practice issues. I attempted to contact Kim Davis Lebak numerous times. On 9-17-13, I specifically asked her if employees could contribute to the LLNS Performance Evaluation Report. Kim Davis Lebak elected not to respond to my inquiry and I was dismissed 3 days later. 

FOIA Requests and NNSA Responses:

Request 1: 

LLNS Staff Relations actions and performance and NNSA evaluation of Staff Relations actions and performance.

Request 2: 

LLNS internal employee grievance system actions and performance and NNSA evaluation of LLNS internal employee grievance system actions and performance.

NNSA response to both FOIA requests above:

“No records found, as LLNL stated that Staff Relations did not provide records to NNSA related to the Performance Evaluation Report.” 



“…Employee Concerns Program

STATEMENT OF POLICY

The Livermore Field Office (LFO) Employee Concerns Program (ECP) is established as part of the Department of Energy’s whistleblower reform initiatives. These initiatives aim to streamline and improve the effectiveness of existing processes for resolving employee concerns, and make the Department’s “zero tolerance for reprisal” a reality. It is the policy of the Department that:

Employees in the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors must be free to raise concerns, without fear of reprisal, about policies and practices that adversely affect the Department’s ability to accomplish its mission in a safe and efficient manner;

Management at all levels appreciate the value of employee concerns, and actively support an atmosphere in which employees feel free to voice concerns; 

and

Systems are established and operate effectively to ensure that concerns are appropriately, fairly and fully considered.

The LFO ECP supports the Secretary’s commitment to maintaining a safe and productive working environment for all DOE employees.

WHAT IS AN EMPLOYEE CONCERN?

An employee concern is a good-faith expression by an employee that a policy or practice of the Department (or one of its contractors or subcontractors) should be improved, modified, or terminated, because it constitutes a violation of health, safety or environmental laws, rules or regulations; it is unsafe, fraudulent, or a waste of funds or resources; or it constitutes an abuse of authority.

Raising issues such as these is commonly known as “whistle blowing.” Under whistleblower protection laws, employees who raise these types of issues may not be subject to reprisal or retaliation for having done so. Employees may seek appropriate remedial action where they can show that they were subjected to reprisal or retaliation for whistle blowing activities…”

http://nnsa.energy.gov/fieldoffices/livermore/ecp

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

LLNS Staff Relations "activities, practices, performance" or alleged "abuses of authority" are NOT orthogonal areas to either the stated oversight and evaluation function of the NNSA Livermore Field Office Manager or the NNSA Livermore Field Office Employee Concerns Program Manager.

How can the NNSA Livermore Field Office maintain contractor employee credibility here, and what are the consequences to the "zero tolerance" for retaliation DOE/NNSA pledge to contractor whistleblowers if this credibility is lost?

Anonymous said...

"...what are the consequences to the "zero tolerance" for retaliation DOE/NNSA pledge to contractor whistleblowers if this credibility is lost?..."

Unfortunately, if LANSLLNS employees are conditioned to keep their heads down through a loss of credibility in the system, the road is paved for account fraud, mismanagement, or even another WIPP caliber event.

In a DOE "Failure Mode Effects Analysis" (FMEA) review, employees "conditioned" to keep their heads down would be defined as a process or activity "failure mode".

Anonymous said...

Just leave no one care.
Congress does not care.
The american people do not know to care.
And management is about putting $ in their pockets. All people ever talk about is their retirement not the future.
Sad but true

Anonymous said...

"...The american people do not know to care.
And management is about putting $ in their pockets. All people ever talk about is their retirement not the future..."

To clear the way for a positive "future" and a reduction in colossal failures like at WIPP, or other mismanagement activities, you need a viable employee based "eyes and ears" feedback loop.

Otherwise all that is left is short term profit or other "good old boy" objectives. Staff Relations is an integral part of that feedback loop, but it looks like they are off the NNSA radar by negotiated design.

The Staff Relation assessment disconnect clashes with NNSA contractor oversight in employee, efficiency, environment, corruption, and mission spaces. All contributing to "keep your head down" DOE contractor employee conditioning. A sad and reckless situation.

Anonymous said...

The only way this gets fixed is with a bipartisan congressional audit/investigation minus the "spoke on the DOE contractor wheel" NNSA local "field office".

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the days of "bipartisan congressional" anything are long past.

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