POGO's take on LANL contract
Charles F. McMillan, director of the Los Alamos lab, sent a memo to his 6,000 employees last week that stressed the positive, despite having received one of the worst fee reductions in the department's history.
"Although this was a very tough year for the laboratory, I am optimistic that next year will be better," he wrote. "I am determined to do all that I can to make it so."
Outside analysts and watchdog groups said the reduction in profits was surprisingly tough, especially given the Energy Department's history of letting contractors escape accountability for errors and failures.
"This was supposed to be one of the top research laboratories in the nation, but they lost classified documents, couldn't manage their plutonium inventories and failed to control costs on major projects," said Peter Stockton, a senior investigator for the Project on Government Oversight and a former advisor to the office of the secretary of Energy. "The new management team was supposed to fix all of those problems, but it looks like it's the same old story out there."
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