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Friday, March 23, 2018

Latest talk at LANL.



Three bidders gave their presentations to NNSA/DOW this week. Lots of missing managers at LANL this week. The UC team was one of the presenting teams so yes it did make it to the finals. The announcement of the bid will be on time be the start of the contract will be delayed a few months. Lots of managers are saying this this change will only effect managers and not the work force, nothing will change and so on. Other rumors is that Wallace is not part of a team. I am a bit surprised that it is coming down to three teams which means that they must have down selected or next will have more presentations. 

Another rumor is that the labs could be getting more money with the latest stuff going on in Russia, but who knows when a budget will be passed. 

The change over in environmental cleanup from LANL to the new contractor has been a total disaster. The change at Sandia has also had some issues and everyone seems to agree that things have not improved but gotten somewhat worse/more expensive. But hey don't worry the change in the contract at LANL will totally smooth. Maybe it is like an old photo-copier, every time you copy it gets worse. 

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uh, the new environmental contractor, N3B Los Alamos, hasn't yet begun working on cleaning up waste. The company did start its transition on Jan. 24, but it doesn't assume responsibility until April 29.

Despite not yet starting the actual work, somehow, the new contractor is already a disaster? Sounds like somebody invented a phony rumor.

Anonymous said...

Many are not impressed with the new Nevada contract either,,,,

Anonymous said...

March 23, 2018 at 9:59 AM

Why would someone make phony rumor about this?

Anonymous said...

Poster is correct. The contractor came in and started asking LANS for all kinds of resources because they do not know how to get them or thought they would just use LANS mechanisms.... Total disaster...

Anonymous said...

There are only 3 teams that bid so I doubt there was a down select.

1) UC / Texas A&M
2) Texas
3) Bechtel

Three teams. That is it. Leidos did not bid.

Anonymous said...

4:47 pm is not correct. LANS does not own any of these resources, the DOE does. In fact, LANS doesn't own any resources, none at all, not even the people. The DOE will turn over the resources to the new contractor.

The rumor is indeed phony and the attempt to defend the phony rumor is even more phony.

Anonymous said...

1) UC / Texas A&M
2) Texas
3) Bechtel

Wow, only three teams, anyone want to make some odds? Possible non-profits are Texas and UC, while Bechtel will certainly be for profit. The state of New Mexico and the town members will than want Bechtel which could sway things.

Another possibility is tat the UC/Texas-AM is actually some mix of for profit and non-profit. Perhaps this is the clever bid part, they will have a for profit in charge of manufacturing.

If past record is a key factor than U Texas may have the edge.

The word for some time is that Bechtel has been pitching that UC caused all the problems every and the scientists did not respect Bechtel. There is also talk that LANL needs to be an engineering/production lab so Bechtel could do that not UC.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Two "than for then"s in a single comment. You should sign up for the "English as a Second Language" course now being offered at LANL.

Anonymous said...

11:40pm. You are incorrect. The DOE only has two contracts and that is with LANS and the new EM contractor. LANS has all of the employment contracts for LANL M&O subcontract or otherwise. LANS also has all of the procurement contracts. You are missing the basics of contract law. Troll all you want but without specific direction and compensation LANS owes nothing to the new contractors. No direction on the EM contract currently exists and the new contractor is failing because the DOE misled the new contractor, was totally ignorant, or the new contractor is ignorant.

Anonymous said...

March 24, 2018 at 7:55 PM

Now you you are just making up more phony rumors. LANS does not control anything LANL, DOE does and will direct LANS to deal with the new EM contract. Your third phony rumor is the worse yet. You are not fooling anyone throwing out things like contract law which you have no knowledge of. All this had to be taken care of by LAW, before the contract was even BID, as confirmed by CONTRACT LAW. You troll somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Dead wrong, 7:55. Dead wrong.

LANS' employment contracts for the EM contract are null and void come April 29. You see, the LANS contract stipulates that they can terminate any employee for any reason whatsoever, including the loss of a contract. The new contractor will choose which current LANS employees will be offered employment and which ones will be left crying. LANS can pick up EM employees on their remaining contracts, but they probably won't pick up many as LANS is not long for this world.

LANS does NOT have the procurement contracts, LANS acted as an agent for the Government on those contracts. The Government owns those contracts and DOE will transfer those contracts to N3B Los Alamos.

LANS will cease to exist as an EM contract entity shortly after April 29.

Sorry if this is a shock to you but LANS, the whole LLC, will cease to exist shortly after the new contractor takes over the M&O contract. LANS won't own employment contracts, LANS won't own procurement contracts. LANS will be gone as LANS is an LLC that exists solely to service the LANL M&O contract.

No matter what happens with the contract bid, in every single case LANS will no longer have a contract.

Before coming to LANL, I helped manage a Government M&O contractor switch-over, I know what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

Curious where Battelle fits into this supposed list of 3 finalists for the M&O contract of LANL.

Anonymous said...

"Before coming to LANL, I helped manage a Government M&O contractor switch-over, I know what I'm talking about.

March 25, 2018 at 11:29 AM"

Hey phony, stop trolling this blog with your lies. Everyone can see straight through them and everyone knows the transitions is going very smoothly without a single problem, everyone on the EM side is very happy with moving to the new contractor, and the new contractor has made it clear they will maintain the pensions. These are facts that everyone knows which just make you look like a fool when you say they are having issues.

Anonymous said...

2:46 PM.

It's obvious that you invented the phony rumor that the EM contractor has been a disaster but you didn't know that they haven't yet taken over. You dug a big hole for yourself. So what did you do? You dug yourself in deeper by inventing a phony story about the new contractor asking LANS for resources. You didn't know that LANS owns no resources and new contractors all ask the Government for these Government-owned resources during the contract transition phase.

Your attempts to invent a defense for your phony rumor ran headlong into a brick wall named reality, so now you descend to insults and sarcasm. Weak.

Anonymous said...

March 25, 2018 at 2:46 PM

You can talk about "issues" all you want. The previous poster is absolutely correct - new contract for managing LANL = good bye LANS. And good riddance. The LANS LLC establishment papers are clear. They dissolve when the existing contract dissolves. No question.

Anonymous said...

March 23, 2018 at 4:49 PM

I thought it was a UC / Texas A&M / Battelle team. Is this still correct?

Anonymous said...

So where does Wallace fall in these bid teams?

Anonymous said...

The third solo bidder on that list, Bechtel, scares the bejesus out of me. Putting a short-sighted, for-profit engineering firm like Bechtel in full control of LANL would be the end of this lab. They've already demonstrated how they view lab workers and it is not pretty. I would expect to see a mass exodus of the best people if they somehow won the contract. It would be an awful mistake by the NNSA.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this right, who has the contract or people for let's say water and ground sample analytics? The answer is LANS. So if the new EM contractor does not have the people or a contract and DOE has NOT directed LANS to support the EM contractor (i.e pay LANS to do so through its contract), what will they do? I can tell you that the LANS employees who do not work in EM but support EM from their science division are not going to "move to the new EM contractor". This is just one example of the chaos occurring... Think of how many different LANS divisions current support EM work but are not part of the EM team. Science, ES&H, maintenance, craft, security, etc.... and most of the LANS people have no interest in going to the new EM contractor and most have already moved to other LANS position or have lined them up. I do not know why we have people defending NNSA in a very poor transition that was supposed to occur last summer.

Anonymous said...

The Battelle part was always a farce. Battelle was never interested. Never on the interested parties list, never contacted by a prime, etc....

Anonymous said...

Wallace is UC but not likely the new director if they win.... UC had to show some version of change in their proposal if they wanted to have a chance.

Anonymous said...

This is what the people not in the middle of the transition of the EM work do not understand, you cannot transition a person or a contract to the new contractor if they aren't exclusively part of the EM work, The exclusive EM folks and contracts end up being a very small subset of the total people and contracts that support EM. LANS has many service contracts and people that support the entire lab (analytics, ES&H, radcon, security, craft collective bargaining agreements, etc.) and thus they also supported EM work when LANS was performing. DOE has not directed LANS to provide these services through some version of an agreement (MOU, contract mod, etc.) to the new EM contractor so the contractor is now scrambling to figure it out. DOE/EM/NNSA dropped the ball when they decided to split out this work. They did not think it through. If you think this is easy just imagine how billing for these services would work (N3B to LANS, LANS to DOE/NNSA, DOE/NNSA to DOE/EM). Probably cost more than the service itself.

Anonymous said...

Wallace fall in these bid teams?

Bechtel team of course. There was a reason he was picked to be the Director at this time so there will be a smooth transition to FULL BECHTEL...FULL BECHTEL. We will go clear at that point.


FULL BECHTEL

Anonymous said...

"LANS does NOT have the procurement contracts, LANS acted as an agent for the Government on those contracts. The Government owns those contracts and DOE will transfer those contracts to N3B Los Alamos."
---------------
You could not be more wrong. Test your theory. Send you bills for goods and services to the DOE LASO office and see if they get paid. or easier yet, just look at the top of the check that you get for providing goods or services and it says "Los Alamos National Security LLC" (i.e LANS). Yes, DOE-NNSA can direct LANS to take an action and pay LANS for that action accordingly, but they have not.... Want to know why? simply put, DOE-EM has the contract with N3B and DOE-NNSA has the contract with LANS... Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

“Bechtel has been pitching that UC caused all the problems every and the scientists did not respect Bechtel. There is also talk that LANL needs to be an engineering/production lab so Bechtel could do that not UC.”

As a LANL scientist, it became clear very early in the LANS contract that the Bechtel folks were here to make lots of money and sit on their asses until their next big gig sent them packing. They did not want to understand the laboratory and it’s culture, or even try to change that culture. If you look at those things that Bechtel was given responsibility for during the LANS contract, everything was overrun, behind schedule, or greatly exceeded costs in the planning phase because of stupid solutions to engineering problems. Let’s be real. Bechtel cannot do engineering. Look no further than Hanford and the glass vitrification facility. Bechtel has zero production experience. All it does is construction and look at the shape of its construction projects for the DOE/NNSA.

Anonymous said...

"I would expect to see a mass exodus of the best people if they somehow won the contract. It would be an awful mistake by the NNSA."

This is exactly why Bechtel NEEDS to win anydwhy NNSA WILL PICK Bechtel for the win. NNSA is sick of the people at the NNSA labs defining who are the "BEST" people. This is just arrogance and is exactly the reason that labs have had so many problems. Bechtel is going to get rid of these people as it should. NNSA does not need the headaches of prima donnas who think ty are so great and are the "best people". Bechtel is going to WIN, they would not have put in a bid otherwise and LANL is going to change, than LLNL is going to change, and finally Sandia will change, so many people will be vindicated when this happens.

Anonymous said...

March 27, 2018 at 6:14 PM

From a few years ago...

Battelle ‘intrigued’ by NNSA possibilities
February 25, 2015

Ron Townsend, Battelle’s executive vice president for global laboratory operations, was in Washington, D.C., last week for the 7th annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit, and it was very much a business trip. Townsend was there to better understand the challenges facing the National Nuclear Security Administration and evaluate what roles Battelle might play in the nuclear weapons complex and what it might be able to contribute.

“We’re intrigued,” Townsend said in an interview. “We have a very strong science and energy portfolio. We manage three Science labs (Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Brookhaven) and both Energy labs — Idaho and NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab). We don’t have a significant presence in the weapons area, the national nuclear security arena. But we’re intrigued by that.”

Currently, Battelle’s only work in the weapons complex is a subcontracting role at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “We’re responsible for work for others in the nonproliferation, counter-terrorism area. It’s a small role, but it’s an active role,” he said.

Townsend said it’s premature to say Battelle aspires to a greater role. “We’re assessing whether or not we ought to aspire,” he said.

But he said he thought that skills developed in managing five Department of Energy laboratories could prove valuable in the nuclear security enterprise.

“They translate directly,” Townsend said. “We believe that the best-practices principles that we’ve developed at the other laboratories translate directly, and it’s a question of is it something we really want to do.”

There’s a lot of talk swirling these days about changes in contractor governance and the introduction or re-introduction of in-the-public-interest contracting in the weapons complex. Townsend said that’s very much a Battelle thing.

“We love it,” he said. “Battelle embraced the public-service model before the public-service model was even known. That’s who we are. I think it’s a great idea.”

Townsend said he’s not really a fan of award-term contracting, where the contract is extended on an annual basis based on the year’s review.

“We believe in performance-based. We believe we ought to be accountable. That means if we screw up that we get hammered and when we do good we ought to get rewarded. And so we think that individual team management members ought to, their compensation ought to be performance-based. We think our contract ought to be performance-based.”

Townsend said Battelle is currently part of an award-term contract at Brookhaven. “And we’ve enthusiastically embraced it, but it’s not my preference.”

He explained: “The reason I don’t like the award-term approach is it’s a tactical decision based on one-year performance and, typically, that’s relegated to a lower level in DOE . . . Award term means if you perform well in a given year that you earn another year on your contract. And typically how well you perform is determined by individuals who are lower in the management chain within the Department of Energy. You might mess up a conference management something, you might mess that up and it results in a lower score that precludes you from getting (an award term). Whereas, the five-year decision, like we just went through at Oak Ridge, that’s a strategic decision made by the Secretary of Energy based on a body of work over five years. And so I think it’s more important to have a performance-based contract and have extend/compete decisions based on a longer period of work.”

Townsend didn’t specify any upcoming NNSA contracts of interest to Battelle, but he also didn’t seem to place any limits on possible roles.

“There’s a lot of churn in the NNSA complex in terms of potential management opportunities, whether it be the laboratory or (other) . . . I’m just curious.”


http://knoxblogs.com/atomiccity/2015/02/25/battelle-intrigued-by-nnsa-possibilities/

Anonymous said...

3:27 PM this is old news. Try harder to come up with recent support for the issue.

Anonymous said...

Some of the posters have a valid point - DOE EM is its own entity, run by Doug Hintze, and the NNSA LASO office is run by Steve Goldrum and the functions are separate entities, such as the Navy, Army, etc. are part of the Department of Defense but each separate. Each military branch has its own support staff (accounting, procurement, payroll, janitorial). So how is the EM contractor going to interact with LANS staff that are paid by LANS? Who unclogs the toilet? Who removes the trash? Payroll? So do the LANS employees who perform EM become employees of the EM contractor? Or does the EM contractor provide all the specialties without benefit of the LANS SME's?

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH WITH THE BS. When the EM contract transition is over the new contractor will be responsible for all existing contracts, LANS will not. That's the way it always works. Claim otherwise and you are lying.

As for the rest, TLDR.

Anonymous said...

Listen up, the current LANS EM experts won't have much choice, if they are offered a job with the new EM contractor they had better take it as their only other option is the street. LANS will no longer get paid for any EM work and neither will the new LANL M&O contractor. N3B will be the ONLY EM game at LANL.

You seem to be struggling with the fact that LANS is going away. As in LANS will be totally gone. Defunct. There will be nothing left of them except a bad memory. Every EM asset will be the responsibility of N3B to manage. Every EM liability (mortgage, contract obligation) will be administered by N3B. Every asset not part of EM will be managed by the new M&O. Buh bye, LANS. Don't let the door hit you in the ...

Anonymous said...

This is really not difficult. Expenses incurred by an M&O contractor are reimbursed by the Government if they are within scope and allowable. After April 29, LANS will have no EM scope, so LANS will no longer get reimbursed for EM work.

So how will this work post April 29? All costs that can be closed out will be and LANS will be reimbursed for those in-scope and allowable costs that were already incurred. That leaves the open expenses like ongoing subcontracts originally signed by LANS. Those contracts will be transferred to and paid by the new Contractor, N3B. After the LANS EM contract expires on April 29, N3B will be paying the bills and getting reimbursed by the Government.

Try submitting your bill for EM work to LANS after they no longer have an EM contract with the Goverment. See if you get paid. Better yet, try submitting your bill to LANS after LANS no longer exists. See if you get paid.

Anonymous said...

March 28, 2018 at 6:26 PM

Who decides who is part of EM or not part or EM. It is not our decision who the contractor is or how if it will work. There is only perception in the end, no right or wrong, there is never right or wrong only what makes profit for the LLC, that is the only thing that matters, that is they only thing that can matter, so it is the only that ever will matter.

Anonymous said...

The rank and file managers in DOE and NNSA despise Bechtel. And NNSA knows that if it chooses a Bechtel that the brain drain will add years and hundreds of millions of dollars to anything that they try to complete.

Anonymous said...

March 28, 2018 at 6:23 PM

Do you have any news that would indicate a change in their interest? If not, then a valid assumption is it is the same a noted in the article 3:27 PM posted.

Anonymous said...

So how is the EM contractor going to interact with LANS staff that are paid by LANS? Who unclogs the toilet? Who removes the trash? Payroll? So do the LANS employees who perform EM become employees of the EM contractor? Or does the EM contractor provide all the specialties without benefit of the LANS SME's?

March 28, 2018 at 6:26 PM


These are all good points, and should have been addressed at the time of the split of the EM contract from the prime LANS contract from NNSA. If, as some posters have claimed, this was not done at that time, that could form a strong case for a waste, fraud and abuse case against LANS. Congress specifically allocated funds for NNSA work, which were then awarded to LANS. If LANS was caught using those resources for EM work, that is pretty clear violation of federal contracting. Thus, if this turns out to be the case, LANS could be on the hook for some significant fines, and in the case it was a willful violation it exposes the LANS leadership to personal prosecution as well.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any news that would indicate a change in their interest? If not, then a valid assumption is it is the same a noted in the article 3:27 PM posted.

March 29, 2018 at 5:40 AM


Maybe, the fact that they were highly public in being embarrassed over the SNL loss?

Anonymous said...

Some people here seem to be under the impression that LANS, as a legal entity, will exist on the day after the NNSA/DOE awards the next contract for managing LANL. It won't. By law, it will cease to exist after the LANL M&O contract changes hands. Bye Bye, and good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Man, many on here (or at least one) lack basic contract law knowledge. Contracts for EM work that are solely EM work can and will be transferred from LANS to N3B. Contracts and agreements that LANS uses for EM and non-EM work such as janitorial, documentation, testing, disposal, craft, etc. will be retained by LANS and N3B will have to get their own. If they haven't, shame on them. Posters were right that EM and NNSA are different entities like Navy and Air Force and anyone in weapons design knows that these entities can't agree on a darn thing (interchangeable parts, etc.) much less work out some inter-agency contracting mechanisms on the fly for a transition.

I don't care about Bechtel. N3B is another "for profit" corporate greed company that looks like they are already screwing it up and DOE-EM is no better than NNSA.

Anonymous said...

Do you buy your toilet paper from a "for profit corporate greed" company or do you make your own out of twigs and bark?

Why would the Government continue to pay LANS, a bunch of complete amateurs who have screwed up everything they have "managed" when you could hire experienced people to manage the EM work?

Anonymous said...

Why would the Government continue to pay LANS, a bunch of complete amateurs who have screwed up everything they have "managed" when you could hire experienced people to manage the EM work?

April 3, 2018 at 10:35 PM

Right, especially since LANS WILL CEASE TO EXIST AS AN ENTITY as soon as the follow-on contract is signed. People should really educate themselves about their subjects before posting their drivel. LANS is history on the day NNSA/DOE signs the next contract. POOF!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. My comment simply supports the decision to oust LANS and replace them with a private company - a decision that has already been made.

You completely misread the comment.

Anonymous said...

Right, especially since LANS WILL CEASE TO EXIST AS AN ENTITY as soon as the follow-on contract is signed. People should really educate themselves about their subjects before posting their drivel. LANS is history on the day NNSA/DOE signs the next contract. POOF!!

April 4, 2018 at 9:21 PM

Yep and then the contracts LANS has to perform the M&O work will be transitioned to a new contractor. Many of which the new contractor will want to cancel or renegotiate anyways. Including any agreements made with N3B for M&O support. Any real team that has done a transition knows how to do this but it is not "poof". You have to have some skills....

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