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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. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PRIVATIZATION DOGMA CONFRONTS REALITY AT LAWRENCE LIVERMORE LAB



Robert Weissman 
President, Public Citizen

PRIVATIZATION DOGMA CONFRONTS REALITY AT LAWRENCE LIVERMORE LAB
Posted: 04/07/2015 5:32 pm EDT Updated: 9 minutes ago


In instance after instance, privatization reduces quality and fails to save money. The cost "savings" achieved through privatization - if any -- simply involve laying off workers (and doing less) or reducing workers' wages and benefits. The Government Accounting Office has found that contractors routinely fail to pay required wages. These aren't the kinds of efficiency gains promised through privatization. And, these "savings" in wages are commonly offset by the profits extracted by corporate privateers.
One apparent case in point is the privatization of management of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Bay Area. Long managed by the University of California as part of the nation's nuclear research infrastructure, Livermore had serious management problems, including significant security-related issues. But privatization of the university management arrangement turned out to make things worse, according to numerous published reports.
A consortium headed by Bechtel took over operation of Lawrence Livermore in 2007. Although the Bechtel group had said it would add jobs at Livermore, in fact it slashed them, from 9,400 in 2005 to 6,800 several years after the privatization. Part of the job loss was due to cuts in federal spending on the lab, though funding losses would eventually be restored. The lost jobs were not.
In 2011, the New York Times reported that "Lynda Seaver, a lab spokesperson, said spending on staff and operations had fallen because of a substantial increase in management fees."
Read that again: Spending on staff and operations was reduced to cover management expenses. And that's according to the privatized management!
Indeed, reports are that management costs have drained a couple hundred million dollars -- $40 million a year - from the operations of Lawrence Livermore and of Los Alamos National Laboratory (operated now by the same Bechtel consortium) since privatization.
This exercise in waste and profiteering is not just a rip off of taxpayers. There's accompanying human tragedy, allegedly made far worse by the way in which the Bechtel consortium laid off workers.
A consolidated lawsuit on behalf of 130 employees alleges that Bechtel violated seniority rules at Livermore and engaged in illegal age discrimination in laying off older, more expensive workers. The Bechtel consortium denies the allegations.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weissman/privatization-dogma-confr_b_7020702.html

113 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a great article and really hits the nail on the head. All you trolls on this blog that have big mouths and always talk about employees at LANL and LLNL being jealous, bitter, etc are full of it. I have been employed at LANL for over 30 years and predicted this exact outcome when the privatization discussions started and ultimately came true and this article is just the tip of the iceberg. Another thing the contractors do is bring there Bechtel and others in to the labs on a short term basis (1-2 Yrs) just to park them somewhere until another job can be found for them. Hell, in that short a time you cannot possibly learn anything about where you are working. On top of that these employees receive temporary housing allowances and Per Diem while assigned to the labs. Where do you think that money is coming from? Upper managers are making 2-3 times their base salaries with the bonuses from the contractors and have separate benefit plans that are way more lucrative. Guess thats for keeping your mouth shut. Bottom line is it is a real crime and a disservice to the American people. Corruption and greed is alive and well.

Anonymous said...

3:55 pm sounds right on the money. Then on top of that, a lot of you trolls blame Obama for this...He was not even in office in 2007. This is a f*** up of Bush and the Rethuglicans, pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

"...Read that again: Spending on staff and operations was reduced to cover management expenses. And that's according to the privatized management!..."

and

"...OFCCP Announces Proposed Rule Barring Contractor Pay Secrecy Policies, Retaliation..."

LANSLLNS bloated management overhead costs and the need for Lab salary disclosures are finally getting traction. Better late than never.

Anonymous said...

Another thing the contractors do is bring there Bechtel and others in to the labs on a short term basis (1-2 Yrs) just to park them somewhere until another job can be found for them. Hell, in that short a time you cannot possibly learn anything about where you are working. On top of that these employees receive temporary housing allowances and Per Diem while assigned to the labs. Where do you think that money is coming from?

April 8, 2015 at 3:55 PM

Where it comes from is from the parent company's funds (i.e., Bechtel) as provided for explicitly in the Prime Contract language. Please do some homework before you spout off. The amount of uneducated, ignorant bloviating on this blog is staggering.

Anonymous said...


One of the points of privatization was to inflect punishment on an perceived out of control workforce. Incident after incident occurred and we have all seen the list of infractions before. Many people felt it was time to take the gloves off and "beat the labs into submissin". In this light privatization has worked as the non-mangament workforce at LLNL and LANL have greatly suffered. The problem has also been that the labs capabilities and effectiveness have unfortuantly also suffered. LLNLS and LANS where put in a very hard situation. They where given the implied job of inflicting punishment but how does one punish without also causing harm elsewhere? The LLCs should have been given more freedom and options. In many ways it is really unfair the way LANLS and LLNLS have been treated. They where hired to be bad guys and than left to hang when they did their jobs.

Anonymous said...

I had been at LLNL as a UC employee for 15 years before transition in 2007, and as a LLNS employee since then,

I honestly and sincerely can not think of one positive change brought about by LLNS or a transition to a for-profit M&O contractor. Not one.

The fact that some of the parent companies send folks to LLNL as managers or special advisors is not worth $40 million a year in management/award fees. Especially when that fee is coming out of Lab overhead (not add on money by DOE/NNSA to the Lab's operating budget).

Bottomline, the Lab and taxpayers have been raped by this approach to managing and operating LLNL. No other way to describe it.

If 60 Minutes came in and did a piece on this approach to contracting, it would be a national disgrace. There is no way the Sec of Energy or NNSA Head could explain to them specifically (in an itemized format) what the government got in exchange for the over $200 million its given to LLNS these past years.

The reality, the employees within the Lab that this sad fact are never interviewed by GAO or the IG or Congress. Rosy information on how great and wonderful the transition just comes from those in senior Lab or LLNS leadership (BOG), which has a $40 million a year vested interest in portraying only the positives of for-profit management.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the poster that stated:

Where it comes from is from the parent company's funds (i.e., Bechtel) as provided for explicitly in the Prime Contract language. Please do some homework before you spout off. The amount of uneducated, ignorant bloviating on this blog is staggering.
April 8, 2015 at 9:16 PM

Since you seem to have an intimate understanding of the Prime Contract it should be easy for you to provide the section/or link that address's the above thread. Prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Prove me wrong.

April 9, 2015 at 8:22 AM

Not my job. I guess if you personally are not aware of some information, it can't possibly be true.

Anonymous said...

Contrare, I am aware and seems as though you are not. Just a troll. In any case even if LANS took the money to pay for those people (which they do not) out of their budget or should I say highly excessive fee its still a ripoff. Plus you get unqualified employees as a bonus. Bechtel is nothing more than a body shop.

Anonymous said...

Prime Contract wording:

H-8 (b) (1)
The utilization of Parent Organization experts, which are defined herein as employees of the Parent Organization, for the purpose of achieving improvement
in management and performance either to resolve deficiencies identified through Parent Organization oversight or in accordance with the Section H clause entitled “Contractor Multi-Year Strategy For Performance Improvement” are allowable costs subject to the conditions contained herein.

H-8 (b) (2)
The Contractor may incur costs for its Parent Organization experts and shall charge to the account of the Government using the special financial institution
account as provided in the Contract’s Section I Clause entitled "Payments and Unofficial Conformed Copy as of 02/26/15 through Mod No. 306 LANS Prime Contract Sections B – H, Page 37
Advances," or as otherwise directed by the Contracting Officer. Costs shall only include: the actual direct labor costs of the persons performing such services; a percentage factor of direct labor costs to cover fringe benefits and payroll taxes; travel; and other direct costs. The percentage factor of direct labor costs to cover
fringe benefits and payroll taxes will be applied in accordance with the Contractor’s Parent Organization Cost Accounting Standards Disclosure Statement. No other costs or a separate fee are allowable.

Anonymous said...

"... I say highly excessive fee its still a ripoff..."

Agreed. When will DOE/NNSA act to seriously review all such expenses and make public management /non-management employee salaries followed by changes as required? Now? The next contract cycle? The wolf will always seek out holes in the fence, if permitted. Who needs to take the first step, the wolf or the rancher?

Anonymous said...

"...The utilization of Parent Organization experts, which are defined herein as employees of the Parent Organization, for the purpose of achieving improvement
in management and performance either to resolve deficiencies identified through Parent Organization oversight..."

If the "parent organization experts" fail to achieve "improvement in management and performance" (deliverables), it is a waste of money best evaluated by case by case audits. So you are back to the role of the rancher again. The rancher may accept the observations of spotters to initiate such audits.

Anonymous said...

The contract excerpt proves my case. LANL funds pay for rent company employee costs. Not all are managers. They are here on whats called "Temporary Assignment". Usually 1-2 years and 100's come through here a year. It say right in their that these costs are allowable and come out of LANL.

"Costs shall only include: the actual direct labor costs of the persons performing such services; a percentage factor of direct labor costs to cover fringe benefits and payroll taxes; travel; and other direct costs. The percentage factor of direct labor costs to cover
fringe benefits and payroll taxes will be applied in accordance with the Contractor’s Parent Organization Cost Accounting Standards Disclosure Statement. No other costs or a separate fee are allowable."

The shall only include list covers it all. Travel to and from, I am sure other direct costs can be Per Diem, temporary Housing etc.....In any case however you want to slice and dice this it is NOT a good deal for ANYONE other than Bechtel and cronies.

Anonymous said...

It say right in their that these costs are allowable and come out of LANL.

April 9, 2015 at 1:16 PM

No, it says the costs are "allowable" meaning they are allowed to come from the allocated operating funds NNSA gives to LANS. "LANL" has no funds since it is not a legal entity, just a bunch of land and a collection of buildings and facilities owned by DOE/NNSA. The Prime Contract does not involve "LANL" - it is between NNSA and LANS (with the LANS parent companies as performance guarantors). Apparently you read as poorly as you write.

Anonymous said...

Problem Statement:

"No, it says the costs are "allowable" meaning they are allowed to come from the allocated operating funds NNSA gives to LANS"

Solution?

Anonymous said...

I honestly and sincerely can not think of one positive change brought about by LLNS or a transition to a for-profit M&O contractor. Not one.

I can't think of a positive change either.

However, I can think of negative changes. For example, in addition to the extra costs, productivity has significantly dropped due to additional mandates and oversight.

The taxpayer is paying more to get less.

Anonymous said...

No, it says the costs are "allowable" meaning they are allowed to come from the allocated operating funds NNSA gives to LANS. "LANL" has no funds since it is not a legal entity, just a bunch of land and a collection of buildings and facilities owned by DOE/NNSA. The Prime Contract does not involve "LANL" - it is between NNSA and LANS (with the LANS parent companies as performance guarantors). Apparently you read as poorly as you write.


April 9, 2015 at 2:06 PM

You are a moron. You are just parsing words here. NNSA, LANS, DOE money whatever. Its still a screw job pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

"...You are just parsing words here. NNSA, LANS, DOE money whatever. Its still a screw job pure and simple...."

Agreed. And the systematic steps to a solution are?

1.
2.
3.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. And the systematic steps to a solution are?

1.
2.
3.


April 9, 2015 at 4:32 PM

1.Fire Charlie
2.Fire LANS
3.Fire NNSA

Clear enough for ya?

Anonymous said...


An additional negative has been the total corruption of the the management culture. Management is now about getting as much money as you can and too milk the system for everything you can. I guess they see they see what LLCs are doing and figure what the hey I should act the same. You have to look no further then the Beth Sellers fiasco. There was no condemnation from any of the higher management about this but we all have to take ethics training. What has happen to the labs is sad and disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Its too far gone. Greed and corruption has become the new mantra and mission for the labs. The wholesale privatization of the Government has been a colossal failure. The upper managers that were working at the Labs before it was privatized have sold out to these greedy government contractors. They should truly be ashamed of sitting idly by and letting it happen. The politicians are not blameless either. The republicans and there corporate cronies let is all happen right in front of the noses of the Democrats. But it benefits them as well with contributions and high paying positions with these same contractors once they leave government. I say again it is really a disgrace, criminal and unpatriotic not only what goes on at the Labs but also the government as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Wow, all the anti-management, anti-LANS/LLNS, anti-government, anti-everything posts here just tell me that there is a large, or at least overly vocal, segment of disgruntled employees who will never again be happy or productive in their careers. First, because their new profoundly negative attitudes will never let them recover from their current madness, and second, because what they see as the only possible solution to their horrible situation just simply cannot happen, at least in the near enough future to have any effect on their plight before they retire or just decide to end it all due to their abject unhappiness. This is very sad and completely unnecessary because these employees either cannot, or refuse to, recognize that they can simply take their futures into their own hands and change their lives any time they want to. I feel really sorry for spouses and children of these retched people, who have to live with this negativity and depression and try to figure out how to not let their own lives spiral down to destruction as well.

Anonymous said...


The real victims are the American people. They expect that the labs are places where top science is done, that best minds are employed to ensure that we have the capabilities to protect the nation, add to economic stability, and places the United States at the forefront of technology. Instead the the opposite has happened, our capabilities have been eroded, the technical workforce is demoralized and emaciated. All for what..so some people could sell out the United States for easy money or political gain? It is beyond pathetic what has happened.

Anonymous said...

This is a poorly written "puff" piece. The damnable facts are worse than presented in this unfocussed, breezily strung together draft.

Facts
1. The contact changes from 48 to 44 fundamentally removed existing employee rights, which made all employees "at the employer pleasure" removing public employees rights and protections under California law.

2. 1800 people (about 20% of the workforce) were terminated within 2 years of privatization, because the directed increased cost of doing business as a private contractor were not reimbursed by the federal government. The cost to the taxpayer was the same, the taxpayer gets about 20% less output than formerly.

3. Senior UC LLNL management lost its independent leadership by contract design, eliminating any former ability to soften the blows of misdirected sponsor directives.

4. Yearly laboratory contract management fees to contractors went up 3-5x from $10M per year to approx $30M - 50M.

5. California sales taxes were paid for the first time, costing programs 9% of all formerly exempt purchases. Estimated effect over $5M yearly.

6. The defined benefit pension plan was eliminated for new employees. Much higher costs were incurred by continuing employees.

7. Medical insurance costs to employees skyrocketed in part because of lost economies of scale. 7000 LLNS employees vs. 140,000 UC employees formerly.

8. Investment and retiree plan costs rose and investment choices were reduced due to lost economies of scale.

9. Employees could no longer invest in a 457b plan, losing a valuable $20,000 per year tax deferred retirement investment vehicle.

10. Employees who wished to retain pensions were forced to separate from UCRS into private pension plans (TCP-1) with less clear goverment backed guarantees. Others benefits (TCP-2) were frozen at the separation date.

11. LLNL UC retirees were forced into more expensive LLNS administed retiree medical plans than available to non-LLNL UC retirees who are in UCRS or PERS. This is currently subject to litigation.

12. Total compensation to senior managers has skyrocketed in the 7 years since privatization.

12. The imagined advantages of introducing industry best practices and synergy to LLNL (in project management, in technology commerialization, administration, human resources, and public relations) never materialized, indeed in many cases the UC practices that were scrapped (benefits administration) were superior.

13. The new senior management blood that was to be supplied by the UC industry partners failed in every case to provide material benefit, and some industry personnel were simply misfits who damaged the LLNL organizations they joined.

14. Many key personnel that might have continued productive employment into their dotage separated in frustration with the foolishness that was added to the many real challenges of carrying out the Laboratory's mission.


These are facts. They were well characterized to NNSA/DOE before privatization occured and many of the deficiencies were made painfully apparent in the privatization of LANL the year before. They have taken place as predicted. Yet NNSA/DOE proceeded knowingly into the iceberg at flank speed.

Bodman, Przbylek and D'Agostino made a terribly short-sighted decision that some imagined better NNSA control of senior UC management was worth all of the above mentioned consequences. They were mistaken.

What's done is done. But the facts of this debacle should be clearly and bluntly reported so it is not repeated elsewhere.

Anonymous
1976 - 2011

Anonymous said...

The real victims are the American people. They expect that the labs are places where top science is done, that best minds are employed to ensure that we have the capabilities to protect the nation, add to economic stability, and places the United States at the forefront of technology. Instead the the opposite has happened, our capabilities have been eroded, the technical workforce is demoralized and emaciated. All for what..so some people could sell out the United States for easy money or political gain? It is beyond pathetic what has happened.

April 9, 2015 at 10:03 PM


What a sad, sad view of the situation. There is no evidence whatsoever to support that "the American people" expect anything from the Labs. "The American people" have not, by and large, ever heard of the Labs - let alone give a flip about them. Indeed the handful of Americans who have heard of the Labs mostly hold them in a negative light as places that pollute the environment and make instruments of war not employed since WWII. For certain they hold no expectation that the Labs will "add to economic stability" in any manner other than, perhaps, a lifetime jobs program for the local community.

As study after study has shown, the technical workforce of the Labs is demoralized but the American people haven't cared about nuclear weapons for several decades. Time will tell if either situation changes.

Anonymous said...

The American people do care about nuclear weapons; but, they are generally uninformed about the situation. It is most of the politicians who don't seem to care.
The current workforce at the labs shouldn't expect their job satisfaction to be any better than the rest of America's. Those days are over, and even back in the 1980's the lab workforce was full of whiners.

Anonymous said...

"The current workforce at the labs shouldn't expect their job satisfaction to be any better than the rest of America's. Those days are over, and even back in the 1980's the lab workforce was full of whiners."

Back in 80's and 90's that labs where not full of whiners. The complaints started happing after Wen Ho Lee and it has just gotten worse. I also disagree about the job satisfaction part. The work done at the labs is highly specialized and takes many years of training. If we reduce the job satisfaction to the same as anywhere else in America than why would anyone spend years of training to do specialized tasks, there would simply be no upside. Additionally we do want anybody at the labs ideally we would want the best and brightest which would mean we would have to some some additional upside to attract them and keep them. We have been bleeding talent for the last 15 years and the labs now have a reputation as not being the best places to work at if you are a scientist or engineer. This is not a good situation for the United States.

Anonymous said...

"...Wow, all the anti-management, anti-LANS/LLNS, anti-government, anti-everything posts here just tell me that there is a large, or at least overly vocal, segment of disgruntled employees who will never again be happy or productive in their careers. First, because their new profoundly negative attitudes will never let them recover from their current madness, and second, because what they see as the only possible solution to their horrible situation just simply cannot happen, at least in the near enough future to have any effect on their plight before they retire or just decide to end it all due to their abject unhappiness. This is very sad and completely unnecessary because these employees either cannot, or refuse to, recognize that they can simply take their futures into their own hands and change their lives any time they want to. I feel really sorry for spouses and children of these retched people, who have to live with this negativity and depression and try to figure out how to not let their own lives spiral down to destruction as well..."


"Anti-everything", "disgruntled", "never let them recover from their current madness", "or just decide to end it all"? What a sad and dangerous portrayal of employee disdain. Employees have a right to voice their concerns and opinions, and they would not do so with the same frequency on a blog if LANS and LLNS viewed them with an open mind instead of with near guaranteed career blowback and reprisal. Non-retaliation talking points won't change this lab employee perception.

If you sincerely "feel really sorry for spouses and children", or care about anyone's well being, you would never ever, use such extreme gloom, or offer no-solution scenarios. There are always structured solutions and ways to resolve issues. Sorry, but they include many more options than just leaving an employer.

The only thing that faces a "spiral down to destruction" are the current terms of LANSLLNS contracts due to ever increasing public scrutiny, new Federal Contractor salary disclosure requirements, and the DOE/NNSA telegraphed need for a new Lab Contract business model to operate LANL and LLNL.

Unfortunately, LANSLLNS is ripe for a "60 minutes" type TV report.

Anonymous said...

If you sincerely "feel really sorry for spouses and children", or care about anyone's well being, you would never ever, use such extreme gloom, or offer no-solution scenarios.

April 10, 2015 at 9:27 AM

Completely in line with April 9, 2015 at 8:39 PM's observation that "...these employees either cannot, or refuse to, recognize that they can simply take their futures into their own hands and change their lives any time they want to." The shackles are illusory, the cell doors are open, there are no guards, yet the inmates sit and moan about their fate.

Anonymous said...

"... they can simply take their futures into their own hands and change their lives any time they want to..."

Absolutely and this may include making suggestions to improve the operation of Labs Contracted through the Federal Government. Thanks for the support!

Anonymous said...

yet the inmates sit and moan about their fate.

April 10, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Yes, and they expect sympathy for their refusal to help themselves. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2015 at 10:28 AM

So "changing their lives" "may include making suggestions"???

Oh, the courage! The daring! How inspiring! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

"...So "changing their lives" "may include making suggestions"???...""

Yes a dialogue of concerns may lead to a consensus that can lead to a personal or group structured plan to address said concerns. Think of it as an ISM "define scope of work" phase.

Anonymous said...

Think of it as an ISM "define scope of work" phase.

April 10, 2015 at 10:42 AM

Yes, diffuse, delay, and obfuscate while claiming that "concerns" are being addressed by a "structured plan." You either have completely bought into the LANSLLNS crap line, or you are a shill for them. Same difference, really.

Anonymous said...

1.Fire Charlie
2.Fire LANS
3.Fire NNSA
Clear enough for ya?
April 9, 2015 at 5:34 PM

How about some positives instead of negatives.
1. Put real leaders in charge at the labs, instead of caretakers or glorified project managers who care only about milestones and management fees.
2. Incorporate 360 degree feedback results into all performance appraisals and raise/promotion decisions, and include 360 degree feedback on the managment LLC into decisions about scores and management fees.
3. Management LLC puts at least as much effort into growing and advertising the labs as they do into rules compliance. Success always has to be the primary goal, and it must stop being a career-killer to say this out loud.
4. Quite possibly, eliminate the management LLCs and put the labs under direct NNSA management.

Anonymous said...

April 9, 2015 at 5:34 PM:

Crazy-sounding, not going to happen in the real world.

April 10, 2015 at 12:46 PM:

Rational-sounding, not going to happen in the real world.

Windmills are windmills.

Anonymous said...

Workers are leaving LANL early.

Figure D-28 of the NNSA Fiscal Year 2016 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (http://nnsa.energy.gov/sites/default/files/FY16SSMP_FINAL%203_16_2015_reducedsize.pdf) reads the notes: "Data support the concern that greater numbers of newer employees are voluntarily separating. Contributing factors include concerns about longevity in observance of and reaction to the 2012 Voluntary Separation Program, as well as national trends in the restructuring and reduction of benefits that may discourage younger employees from remaining with one employer for an entire career."

Bookending this is figure D-24, which shows more than about half of LANL's employees are eligible to retire or are within five years of being eligible.

So most of the intellectual capital of LANL could probably leave tomorrow if they must, and the new generation isn't sticking around.

That much less expensive 401k and related lower-scale retirement benefits, and lower-scale retirement doesn't look like such a great deal for the taxpayers anymore. The LLC managers and DOE won't miss a meal.

Most of this makes little sense except in the context of 1) corruption, 2) incompetence and/or 3) intentional destruction of the Laboratories and the nuclear deterrent.

Anonymous said...

So most of the intellectual capital of LANL could probably leave tomorrow if they must, and the new generation isn't sticking around.

April 10, 2015 at 1:44 PM

This is very good news - it indicates that the LANL workforce is finally waking up to the reality of their plight. It must be recognized that absolutely nothing will be done to change the situation at LANL/LLNL until the crisis is so obvious and frightening that even partisanship-addled congresspersons finally get the message. Not to mention the election of a President who actually cares about US national security. All that may indeed come too late; this is how world powers collapse in the nuclear era.

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM

This has already been stated. The best and brightest have left and are leaving, however this is what the management wants. B students hire C students, C students will not complain about the corruption at the labs.

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2015 at 2:26 PM

Who cares what management wants, as long as employees do what they want? "Complaining about the corruption" is just playing into the hands of the corrupt, if it causes you to stick around to do it. If you can't win the game, change the rules. Make a plan and exit gracefully. Then wait for the year when due to lack of technical talent, the annual certification letters say "Sorry, but we can't guarantee safety or performance." It will be hushed up for a while, and then it will be leaked and the remaining scientists at the labs will be severely criticized and punished. You want to be part of that?

Anonymous said...

Ernie Moniz is doing a better job of preventing nuclear weapon production in the US than he is doing to prevent nuclear weapon production in Iran!

Anonymous said...

"...Yes, diffuse, delay, and obfuscate while claiming that "concerns" are being addressed by a "structured plan." You either have completely bought into the LANSLLNS crap line, or you are a shill for them. Same difference, really..."

I was merely pointing out this blog or other offline discussions among likeminded employees could lead to a structured course of action. I was not and would not suggest LANSLLNS should be unconditionally trusted to work with such a group in good faith because they don't have a reputable track record.

LANSLLNS wants employees with work concerns to be individually flushed out, immediately discredited, and labeled disgruntled. They don't want these employees to speak with a common set of workplace concerns because it becomes increasingly difficult to, in career terms, pick them off.

LANSLLNS management trolls want to convince employees that any changes at the Labs are a pipe dream, and your "individual" best solution is to leave.
If you do speak out as an individual, they will systematically process you out the gate. As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers.

Anonymous said...

Hey DI FI and your neighbor and best yachting partner Riley Bechtel, are you reading all this?

Riley, put down the martini and end this sicking destruction of what once was one of the worlds greatest think tanks (LLNL) that did more to protect this country than your corrupt K street machine ever did and go destroy some other useless government agency like Dept. of Education

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2015 at 4:36 PM:

Deep in De-Nile. Are you drowning yet?

Anonymous said...

" ...Deep in De-Nile. Are you drowning yet?..."

Like the reputation of Enron's Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling, along with the "American Swindler" Bernard Madoff, the only thing "drowning" here is the sorry reputation of LANSLLNS.

Anonymous said...



Nothing can change, please give up and leave the lab. The United States is doomed so get what you can before it goes down. If you did not get the money than too bad for you. For those who made out they where smarter than you. All is good and getting better.

Anonymous said...

To:

"...For those who made out they where smarter than you..."

"Made out" better financially yes, smarter or more ethical than others no.

and to:

"...Deep in De-Nile. Are you drowning yet?..."

A perfect illustration of a LANSLLNS management response to a Lab employee speaking as an "individual" being discredited and "picked off" as stated above, for raising commonly accepted concerns. Thanks for making the point better understood. Do you have any additional supporting comments?

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2015 at 6:53 PM:

It is a mystery to me why you think that a strong recommendation to get out while you can, from someone who already has done so because of severe disillusionment with LANS after the contract turnover, could possibly be from a "LANSLLNS management" person. You are just prolonging your agony, to what purpose? If you are intellectually and personally honest, you know that to be the case. Why would you put yourself (and your family) through this crap? I got out, and I will never look back. All that garbage is now fading away into my past, and that fact makes me very happy!

You will claim to doubt my statement, I'm sure. I am a LANS (actually UC) retiree of about 7 years now, and I have never regretted my choice to cut LANS loose once I saw what it was going to do to the place I used to love to go to work at. There will never be a chance to "improve" your working conditions. They will only get worse. Does that sound like a LANSLLNS management statement?

Anonymous said...

Both LANS and LLNS have done a terrific job of turning the weapon labs around. The proof is everywhere to be seen. Employee morale is higher than ever and staff performance has improved. The lab managers are now top-flight and worth every penny of their well earned salaries. We should be thankful that a great corporation like Bechtel is willing to serve this nation and help pull these labs out of the mud.

You bitter complainers have no platform to stand on with your complaints. Learn to have some loyalty to your employer and get with the program or get out. Thinking that the LLCs will be removed is pure fantasy. The contracts will be renewed and both LANS and LLNS plan to be around for a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

"...There will never be a chance to "improve" your working conditions..." "Prolonging your agony"?

A little too gloomy wouldn't you say? Sounds like you retired early when LANSLLNS was not yet in full bloom. I'm glad the option to retire at that juncture was available to you. Retiring is a good choice for many.

After decades of rewarding lab service, leaving on a dime is not for all lab employees nor is changing jobs due to time in a retirement system, age, location, spouse career, family considerations and so on.

One could just accept LANSLLNS employment practices, (which you clearly elected not to do understandably), for the duration of their remaining employment. This is one choice among many. Fortunately, you on the other hand, really did not have a hard decision to make, since retirement was a viable option for you early on.

One can be an onlooker or a participant in life, and both have associated risks and rewards, not all of which are immediately appreciated at that fork in the road. Yes being an onlooker does have risks too.

The most important point is to compartmentalize these things and move forward in a constructive way. If you truly believe your workplace concerns have merit, work individually, or preferably, as a coordinated group to change the law, contract terms, or policy in a systematic way. It happens all the time all over the Country, but it takes some work. These changes won't just fall on our collective Lab employee laps.

It is not a no-option "doom and gloom" scenario as too often portrayed by some on this blog. The terms of NNSA Lab Contractors are changeable, and the NNSA itself, has already taken steps down this road.

Anonymous said...

Some interesting LLNL facts, numbers approximate but close enough to illustrate the point.
2006: 1.27G$ budget, 5 million fees, public institution tax rate, 9000 employees.
2010: 1.16G$ budget, 50 million fees, private company tax rate ~ 8%, < 7000 employees
2014: 1.14G$ budget, 50 million fees, private company tax rate ~ 8%, < 6000 employees.

Are the taxpayers getting their money's worth?

Anonymous said...

No one ever intended, or pretended, that privatization would result in lower costs to the government. That was never the driver. Everyone who lived through the transition knows this. Nothing new here.

Anonymous said...

"...No one ever intended, or pretended, that privatization would result in lower costs to the government. That was never the driver. Everyone who lived through the transition knows this. Nothing new here.."

What is of concern to DOE/NNSA is these added costs have not yielded a higher value at either of these two NNSA Labs. The costs DOE/NNSA have incurred, have yielded a lower value than expected, prompting new business model and new Lab Management contract terms going forward. You forgot that part.

Anonymous said...

The costs DOE/NNSA have incurred, have yielded a lower value than expected, prompting new business model and new Lab Management contract terms going forward. You forgot that part.

April 11, 2015 at 4:16 PM

None of that has happened, unless you include talk as action.

Anonymous said...

"...None of that has happened, unless you include talk as action..."

True, if you consider the publicly telegraphed DOE/NNSA assessment of NNSA Lab performance being a failed for-profit" LLC construct a non-action. The DOE/NNSA has not as yet changed the terms of existing LANSLLNS contracts midstream as a result, this much is true.

The recent 90% LANS haircut strongly suggests DOE/NNSA dissatisfaction and perhaps regret with whatever "driver" or improvement they had in mind or hoped for under LANSLLNS management.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"The current workforce at the labs shouldn't expect their job satisfaction to be any better than the rest of America's. Those days are over, and even back in the 1980's the lab workforce was full of whiners."

Back in 80's and 90's that labs where not full of whiners. The complaints started happing after Wen Ho Lee and it has just gotten worse. ...

April 10, 2015 at 7:47 AM

I beg to differ. The labs WERE full of whiners, even then. I was in the military then, before joining the lab, and that was how we felt about most lab employees. It pre-dated Wen Ho Lee. I will grant you that the whining is worse now, but it was always bad, too many prima donnas feeling entitled.

Anonymous said...

"I beg to differ. The labs WERE full of whiners, even then. I was in the military then, before joining the lab, and that was how we felt about most lab employees. It pre-dated Wen Ho Lee. I will grant you that the whining is worse now, but it was always bad, too many prima donnas feeling entitled.

April 11, 2015 at 10:09 PM"

I am calling total BS on this. You have absolutely no idea what you are taking about and sound like a bitter wanna-be. Stop being a whiny little bytch and manup. Stop blaming the world for you failures.

Anonymous said...

8:40 am started drinking early.

Actually 10:09 pm is correct, I was at the lab back then too. The only thing that mitigated the whining was, lots and lots of resources and more opportunities. You still had egos and primadonnas, more of them in fact, but they were not as vocal because there was plenty to go around.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, the pendulum has swung and the "egos and primadonnas" now over populate LANSLLNS management deluxe, and at a hefty price.

Anonymous said...

Based on many of the comments here, Riley must have hired an entire PR team from K street to troll this blog...Obviously this article has touched a nerve...Have another martini Riley...call Di Fi, she will change your diaper and burp you...for a price of course

Anonymous said...

Based on many of the comments here, Riley must have hired an entire PR team from K street to troll this blog...

April 12, 2015 at 4:15 PM

Amazing how many fools still think Riley Bechtel is Bechtel CEO.

Anonymous said...

8:40 am is doing more than drinking - he has identified himself as one of the whiners. 8:51 am got it right. There was more real programmatic work going on so that mitigated it.

Anonymous said...

"I beg to differ. The labs WERE full of whiners, even then. I was in the military then, before joining the lab, and that was how we felt about most lab employees. It pre-dated Wen Ho Lee. I will grant you that the whining is worse now, but it was always bad, too many prima donnas feeling entitled.

April 11, 2015 at 10:09 PM"

I see it differently. Non-scientists often have a profoundly arrogant attitude and when it is politely pointed out the that certain things are scientific facts and not they way they want to see it they take it very badly. They often assume that someone who is trying to correct them or pointing out a problem is a "prima donnas", when in fact that is the job of a scientist.

"I was in the military then, before joining the lab,"

I sincerely doubt that someone like you was ever in the military. Please go crawl back under your rock.

Anonymous said...

"Actually 10:09 pm is correct, I was at the lab back then too. The only thing that mitigated the whining was, lots and lots of resources and more opportunities. You still had egos and primadonnas, more of them in fact, but they were not as vocal because there was plenty to go around.

April 12, 2015 at 8:51 AM"

The only whining I remember was from the lowest performers who ironically claimed that the higher performers where egotistical prima donnas, funny how that works.

Anonymous said...

"...The only whining I remember was from the lowest performers who ironically claimed that the higher performers where egotistical prima donnas, funny how that works..."

You have a selective memory. If what you claim were actually true about Lab "high performers", and "low performers", Lab managers would not be perpetually compelled to rig or falsify job postings or not post at all, so that only their identified "good old boys" would get the better assignments or promotional opportunities by circumventing Lab hiring policies. Funny how hypocrisy works.

Anonymous said...

If what you claim were actually true about Lab "high performers", and "low performers", Lab managers would not be perpetually compelled to rig or falsify job postings or not post at all, so that only their identified "good old boys" would get the better assignments or promotional opportunities by circumventing Lab hiring policies. Funny how hypocrisy works.

April 12, 2015 at 8:15 PM

Classic. State a complete falsehood and then comment on how "funny" it is. Such intellectual dishonesty does lab people no favors nor does it help their cause one bit. One would hope that such intellectually gifted employees would have that gift extended to their truthfulness. Do you really think comments such as yours advance your cause? Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

The only whining I remember was from the lowest performers who ironically claimed that the higher performers where egotistical prima donnas, funny how that works.
April 12, 2015 at 7:23 PM

You should get out of the lab, lifer, and see how the world really works.

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2015 at 8:15 PM

April 12, 2015 at 9:53 PM

April 13, 2015 at 7:15 AM

Wow, I guess somebody hit way too close to home about low performers that complaining about how everyone else is arrogant.

Anonymous said...

"...Classic. State a complete falsehood.. "

No falsehood. Contrary to what you implied, you either have not been a long term lab employee, or you are the one that is dishonest and possibly landed one of those "good old boy" assignments yourself. Sure, keep telling yourself it is because you are a "high performer". You should do your homework.

True "high performers" don't need a fraudulent hiring system or a rigged evaluation system to advance. They can apply for assignments with dignity, pride, and in full daylight, or they may advance because of broadly acknowledged "evolutionary" growth and achievement. Funny how that works.

Anonymous said...

7:45 am doesn't know what "high performer" means outside the culture of the national labs, especially LLNL, and makes up for mediocrity with empty bravado.

Anonymous said...

True "high performers" don't need a fraudulent hiring system or a rigged evaluation system to advance.

April 13, 2015 at 7:50 AM

As the lawyers say, "assumes facts not in evidence."

Anonymous said...

There are very talented employees across the lab. Most of whom earned their achievements along the way and are a privilege to work with and for.

Unfortunately, there are some lab employees that for one reason or another, were allowed to go through a manufactured advancement/promotional wormhole shortcut, usually politically driven, and this taints the credibility of the greater system. Under LLNS management, the wormhole path has become a heavily traveled highway.

Anonymous said...

"7:45 am doesn't know what "high performer" means outside the culture of the national labs, especially LLNL, and makes up for mediocrity with empty bravado.

April 13, 2015 at 8:17 AM"

Ok it may be true that not all "high performers" are evaluated equally and fairly, however the lowest performers are usually obvious. They are also the ones that complain the most about "high performers", and go on about how "in the real world". We all know the type and there is always a few that exist in every workplace. It is pretty obvious that 8:17 AM was one of those low performers and is still bitter about this after all these years. It is ironic that they always say "well in the real world" when in fact they are the ones that would do the worse in the "real world", funny how that works.

Anonymous said...

"...It is pretty obvious that 8:17 AM was one of those low performers..."

"As the lawyers say, assumes facts not in evidence."

Anonymous said...

I guess if you scratch the surface a little bit, you find that the real disputes are not employees vs LANSLLNS, but self-entitled "high performers" vs resentful "low performers" within the ranks of the employees. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Anonymous said...

"...lowest performers are usually obvious..."

In LANSLLNS world, "high performers" can be declared "low performers" at the flick of a switch if the employee falls into political disfavor. This has become an unimpeded modus operandi here.

Are the self-declared "high performers" the same employees that are strongly opposed and fearful of salary disclosures at these NNSA labs ya think? Funny how that works.

Anonymous said...

Of course employees who feel they are paid less than they should be paid are going to want to expose the salaries of those they feel are overpaid, to feed their feelings of supposed bias or unfairness. It is ultimately a childish, jealous, self-defeating attitude because it can't possibly result in any good for anyone. Plus, adults don't wait around for the world to become "fair." "It's not fair!" is probably the worst thing a parent can teach a child to say, but it unfortunately is usually one of the first.

Anonymous said...

"... it can't possibly result in any good for anyone..."

It will be good for the bulk of LANSLLNS employees and lab mission objectives, but not likely good for you given your outcry.

Anonymous said...

It will be good for the bulk of LANSLLNS employees and lab mission objectives...

April 13, 2015 at 5:02 PM

Really?? Then why hasn't LANSLLNS done it? Is it possible they don't agree with your assessment of what is good for their "mission objectives"? Or maybe they don't even agree with what YOU think their "mission objectives" are? Maybe you should let them know what they are missing ASAP.

Anonymous said...

"...Really?? Then why hasn't LANSLLNS done it? Is it possible they don't agree with your assessment...?

Why hasn't LANSLLNS done it? Done a self-review of employee salaries? Because it may not compliment their salary growth decisions of the last 7-9 years. LANSLLNS will never voluntarily agree to a review decision that draws attention to a practice that is in possible opposition to NNSA mission objectives unless they are pressed to do so. Come on now.

Anonymous said...

Ok. This thread got kinda lost and confused. Back to the topic. What are the lessons of the privatization of LLNL that may apply to other government agencies?

My summary. LLNL privatization is a complete failure, worse in every regard.

The mission, the institution, management and employees are all degraded under the private contractor under the limitations Contract 44. NNSA and Congressional judgement are shown to be flawed. The taxpayer is getting only 80% of the value regularly achieved under UC management.

NNSA structured contract 44 to give it much more control and presence in decisions. It knowingly committed (wastes) $125M per year to achieve this. No one, not the president, not Congress, not the labs, not a taxpayer, not the weapons complex, not the services, not even the NNSA is happy with the result.

Hm, maybe Putin and Khameni like the private contractor arrangement.



Anonymous said...

OK, it is clear that you have a deep-seated hatred of LANSLLNS, and will never believe anything good of them. So, assuming you work for them, why?? Have you so little self-respect that you are willing to take what you obviously consider to be plain and simple abuse of authority? Do you actually believe that you can change their behavior? Are you willing to put your career in such jeopardy that you endanger your livelihood and your family's future rather than simply move on? I retired from LANS many years ago and simply cannot understand this tenacious desire for retribution when a simple move could solve all your problems. It is a classic example of a self-destructive symbiotic relationship. What the hell are you thinking you can realistically accomplish? You are stuck in a very sick rut, and I think you actually feel affection and even love for the slave masters you claim to hate.

Anonymous said...

Troll failure. Reread the post.

Lesson learned for future decisions, avoid privatization.

The fate of LLNL is as a private lab under Contract 44. Make the best of it.

Just don't hire Tyler Pryzbylek or the NNSA to "improve" anything important.

Anonymous said...

"I retired from LANS many years ago"

Perhaps fired is what really happened to you and you are just completely bitter about it and cannot let go. You post every day, attack every person, complain, whine, nag, bitch, and moan. We got it, you are very sad, pathetic, and bitter. Have you ever thought that maybe the whole world was not wrong about you? Life is short please let it go and move one.

Anonymous said...

So what actually took place?

1. Contact 44 placed new conditions on the successor contact to UC.

2. It took away UC management judgement to interpret and rationalize and adapt NNSA directives to practice. In place it got compliance and assurance procedures.

3. Contract 48 directed the elimination of a long term defined benefit pension plan established to retain the talent invested in to assure nuclear weapons science.

4. It replaced it with a new 401k program, immediately vested that costs almost as much, with no retention incentives.

5. The loss of government contactor introduced CA sales tax for many previouly exempt purchases.

6. The new contract committed about 2% for fees, or 3 - 5 × what wad previously paid.

7. No new funds were committed for these contract directed changes so 1800 people, 20% of the LLNL staff were laid off within two years to stay within the budgets.

8. Remaining employees salaries were frozen for 2 years.

9. The privatization lost linkage with UC, so employees paid much higher prices for medical insurance and financial 401K administration due to lost economy of scale for purchasing.

10. Employees lost the 457b tax deferred retirement savings plan.

11. Anticipated Industry best practices in project management, benefits administration, subcontractor management, technology transfer, business development, purchasing, safety, security and human resource management did not exist. In all cases, LLNL existing best practices were superior. Industry human resource management practices actually damaged employee/institution relationships. Many talented folks left the lab when managing employee relationship was taken from matrix organizations into human resources.

12. The quality of personnel put into senior LLNL positions in industry billets has been inadequate. Misfits checking a career box. Not a single industry manager has made a noteworthy contribution in 7 years. A few, like Russo and Soderstrom,caused long-term serious damage.

13. Increased overhead costs due to fees, taxes and mandates left inadequate funds for fully funding pension requirements, so employee cost sharing resulting in 7% salary reductions for many resulted.

14. Contact 44 mandated employee contributions to medical insurance lead to significantly increased medical insurance.

15. Retired LLNL employees of UC had their medical insurance costs increased compared to other UC retirees. Currently in litigation in federal court.

16. Contact 44 eliminated CA employee employment protections provided under UC. All employees became at will, losing significant due process and seniority protections.

17. Employer pension guarantees guaranteed by the CA constitution as UC employees were quitted to ERISA, with DOE obligations unclear.

18. Senior Management compensation doubled. Incentives called their motivation into question--best interest of the institution or the manager?

These are facts, many well characterized prior to opening up the contracting process. They were know from the consequences of the privatization of LANL the year before.

NNSA proceeded knowing this would be the result. They saw the iceberg and proceeded flank speed ahead.

For LLNL, it's damage done. No going back.

Remember these facts the next time a government considers privatization. Those proposing it are not competent to manage it.

Anonymous said...

9:59 pm is projecting again.

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude.

Anonymous said...

Thoughtful, well written, thorough. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It's a troll, an insect of the blogosphere. A Eunuch posing as an ass.

Anonymous said...

11:00 am, thank you. The ONLY people who have benefitted from the privatization of the weapons labs are the corporate goons and their cronies.

Anonymous said...

April 13, 2015 at 11:00 PM
Nice listing. Too bad, that neither DOE nor Congress will ever do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

April 13, 2015 at 11:07 PM

I learned that in high school. Which means that you are still in high school, or you never furthered your education.

Anonymous said...

"...Nice listing. Too bad, that neither DOE nor Congress will ever do anything about it..."

Will LANL and LLNL be exclusively managed by UC or UC + other non-profits in the future? I support such a move but I don't think it is likely, unless there are significant changes in the Contract terms to manage these NNSA Labs.

As it turns out, DOE and NNSA are openly discussing new Contract terms for these NNSA Labs to include new business models with a focus away from the current "for profit" failed and excessively expensive business model, to a mission objective focused model.

When you add in the DOL driven employee salary disclosures of these Federal Contractors into the mix, it will add much needed salary transparency at these Labs as was the case when UC managed them.

It is interesting that while managed by UC, I never heard anyone stating the UC/Lab salary lists themselves being an impediment to the accuracy of the employee ranking process results and rank distribution driven salaries. If that were the case, open and transparent rank driven salaries were less accurate than the current LANSLLNS secret salaries.

Which salary process do you think is more defendable, the one that results in transparent or non-transparent employee salaries? I think the DOL answer is clear.

Anonymous said...

I think the DOL answer is clear.

April 14, 2015 at 9:29 AM

Except that the proposed rule hasn't been heard of for the past 7 months. Also recall that the UC salary info was "public" but not publicized, in that, at least at LANL, the list was available to peruse at the local library, but was never posted online. It was considered bad form to admit that you looked at the list since many employees were not thrilled that their personal information was available to all. "Transparency" of salaries will result in increased dissatisfaction and resentment, and lower morale. I'd like to hear what proponents of this think will be the reaction of all of the employees (nominally half) who think they are being paid less than they deserve. Will their job satisfaction go up or down when their feelings are confirmed?

Anonymous said...

"...I'd like to hear what proponents of this think will be the reaction of all of the employees (nominally half) who think they are being paid less than they deserve..."

To answer your question with balance, one would need to determine the percentage of employees that think they are "being paid less than they deserve" now correct? Your concern as communicated is simply a salary disclosure deflection.

More importantly and the gorilla in the room, is if entire 4-digit classifications have collectively left alleged "parallel growth" 4-digit classifications in the compensation dust. This is the real concern for LANSLLNS management, not the in the blades of grass, "Billy vs Bob" salary dissatisfaction which will always be around.

Anonymous said...

This is the real concern for LANSLLNS management, not the in the blades of grass, "Billy vs Bob" salary dissatisfaction which will always be around.

April 14, 2015 at 12:02 PM

How would you know what is "the real concern for LANSLLNS management"? It seems just as likely that management would be seriously concerned about not raising the already high levels of employee dissatisfaction and anger. Not to mention the employees of the for-profit parent companies, who are by the way also all government contractors in their own rights.

Anonymous said...

"...How would you know what is "the real concern for LANSLLNS management"? It seems just as likely that management would be seriously concerned about not raising the already high levels of employee dissatisfaction and anger..."

I agree management would not want to draw attention to salaries if it increased "already" high levels of "employee dissatisfaction". However, keeping lab salary data secret longer, does not solve this concern, it only inflates it further for an eventual and even larger pop.

If LANSLLNS primary concern was the employee, salary management would continuously reflect it. Otherwise management is simply concerned with the fallout of salary imbalance through disclosure. Being regretful for an admitted business practice is not the same as being regretful for being caught and having to face the music.

Anonymous said...

LANSLLNS managers (or their supporters) that frequent this blog often say "at will lab employees that are dissatisfied should leave", and "existing employees can easily be replaced by less expensive new hires". It naturally follows, that lower salary compensation for lab employee "worker bees" would result given these attitudes, with a clear salary bias in favor of management compensation particularly in a non-transparent structure.

Anonymous said...

If LANSLLNS primary concern was the employee, salary management would continuously reflect it.

April 14, 2015 at 6:12 PM

Hey, Pollyanna, name any large corporation whose primary concern is the employee. (Yeah, yeah, Google; SO WHAT) The primary concern of any for-profit company or corporation is PROFIT. What don't you understand about this basic truth of capitalism?

Anonymous said...

"... The primary concern of any for-profit company or corporation is PROFIT. What don't you understand about this basic truth of capitalism?..."

Sorry to disappoint, but unlike the Google type "for-profit" companies, the "basic truth" is LANSLLNS and other LLCs at the Federal compensation food trough, eventually will need to comply with the wishes of their provider, especially if the provider determines over time they were hoodwinked.

Anonymous said...

LANSLLNS and other LLCs at the Federal compensation food trough, eventually will need to comply with the wishes of their provider

April 14, 2015 at 8:23 PM

Right, as if the "providers" even know what their "wishes" are, or have any means of compelling them. Yearn on, Pollyanna.

Anonymous said...

The lab is just a corperate welfare system when controlled by private contract and it is a government hand out out when the government controls it. Evryone of you are sucking on the system every one of you. You just get a bigger piece than the ghetto.

POS

Anonymous said...

POS is obviously jealous.

Anonymous said...

There were times when I thought maybe some of the comments posted here were a little over the top.

No more. It took me a few years, but having seen more and more of how the management works, I am thoroughly convinced that privatization has turned the lab from an outstanding research organization to a low grade contract organization guided by corporate bullshit.

Anonymous said...

12:14. It wasn't just privatization. The regulatory environment provided by the DNFSB and their ilk played a huge roll in the death of American science. Look at WIPP - a half BILLION dollar waste drum. The bureaucrats who failed the calculus are stuffing their pockets and inflating their egos on that typo. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

Anonymous said...

Re: WIPP. It wasn't a "typo." It was a fundamental failure to put people in charge of rules who actually understand the science they are pretending to regulate. The fool who made the mistake got away with it because he couldn't be expected to know any better based on his education and experience, which were in no way up to the responsibility he was given. The knowledgeable people of lesser standing who tried to raise a red flag were blown off by the same group of C students.

Put a construction company in charge of science, that's what you get.

Anonymous said...

How bad has it become? A complete failure like Charlie McMillan can keep his job and his high salary even after a long list of management disasters while he was in charge of his lab.

Where is the sense of responsibility and ownership? Certainly not within the levels of top lab management.

Anonymous said...

How bad has it become? A complete failure like Charlie McMillan can keep his job and his high salary even after a long list of management disasters while he was in charge of his lab.

Where is the sense of responsibility and ownership? Certainly not within the levels of top lab management.

April 20, 2015 at 9:01 AM


There is some fundamental flaw in the system that has permitted McMillan to stay in position after all the ethical scandals, safety and security failures, cost overruns, and facility shutdowns. One can only surmise that the only reason he has not already been replaced is that the Board has not yet identified a replacement.

Anonymous said...

"...Where is the sense of responsibility and ownership? Certainly not within the levels of top lab management..."

"...There is a fundamental flaw in the system..."

You mean to say those NNSA Field Office Managers with the Liberal Arts degrees and minimal to no relevant experience for the scope of the assignment, are not able to influence or advise senior LANSLLNS management and solve these continuing problems?

Anonymous said...

The field offices have always been a parking lot for posers and wash outs.

Anonymous said...

"...The field offices have always been a parking lot for posers and wash outs..."

These comparatively young and inexperienced Liberal Arts NNSA Field Office Managers can't stand "toe to toe" with their respective and well seasoned "for-profit" LANSLLNS Contractor managers? Say it isn't so. Would LANSLLNS benefit and promote such NNSA Field Office assignments ya think?

Anonymous said...

NNSA "Site Office" managers long before LANSLLNS were no match for their UC/LANL/LLNL counterparts either. They just simply pulled rank - they were the overseers and the lab people were the subservient contractors. Everyone understood the game and the NNSA people were accorded the respect that they demanded but had in no way earned or deserved. Everyone got along fine, and good audit ratings made everyone happy. No one got testy until large award fees became at stake.

Anonymous said...

The "people were accorded the respect that they demanded but had in no way earned or deserved" is a growing political trend at LANSLLNS and has contributed to the deteriorating employee morale here.

Anonymous said...

April 22, 2015 at 6:49 AM:

I believe April 21, 2015 at 10:08 PM was pointing out that this "trend" existed long before the transition, under UC. In the old days under the AEC, the Commissioners knew what they were doing and in many cases were more knowledgeable than the working scientists. Under ERDA and DOE, then NNSA, the federal overseers in general have had no such knowledge or experience and have happily accepted being pandered and condescended to.

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