Wednesday, April 27, 2005

It's official, LANL RFP delayed

WIRE AND STAFF REPORT

The formal document soliciting proposals for managing Los Alamos National Laboratory will take a little longer to finalize.

The estimated release date had been announced as April 26, but a spokesperson for the National Nuclear Security Administration said the date has been extended to mid-May.

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Comments:
Bless you.
 
Wingnut, is that you again? If so, you've outdone yourself! If fact, I suddenly have a serious craving for eggs Benedict.
 
Psychic Reading Time: LM/UT will propose a merged LANL and SNL. They win because the consolidation argument is too powerful economically and the pension issue gets simple. After the contract is awarded to LM/UT, UC is directed to dump a large chunk of assets into the Sandia Corporation pile. Sandia Corporation is dissolved and rechartered as the New Mexico National Security Corporation. Their new hires and LANL legacy employees start to get the same (lower) pension that SNL people get, but now they get the 401k deal as well, so they are told they are being given equivalent (or better) pensions. Anyone already on staff unhappy with that option will get X months to decide to leave (after contract award but before contract in force) with their current UC pension intact, or maybe all get to transfer into the UT system via some conversion formula. Pay equity issues between current LANL and Sandia staff will get ugly. White collar admin layoff will be painful (especially when there are $160K morale officers apparently floating around). Essentially, you run a big IT pipe from ABQ to the mesa, everybody at LANL gets their desktop computer revamped overnight with a Sandia common operating environment install, and voila... 2 weeks of retraining on SNL corporate processes and forms (travel, project management, etc.) and...Welcome to the New Mexico National Laboratories. Oh yeah, Sandia Livermore gets peeled off onto LLNL and UC calls it even. Only fly in the ointment is the environmental damage legacy on the mesa. DOE will probably absolve the bidder, and Congress will establish a separate sub-agency with budget to spread around N. NM so that any cleanup, while effective, slow and costly, is not hampered by local lawsuits. I say something like this scenario should be hoped for, as there are many other likely outcomes that are much less benign, as US budget deficits loom and interest in all things nuclear fades away.
 
7:17's crystal ball has a pretty sharp focus. I like the scenario (from a likelihood perspective, not that I actually _like_ the scenario). As a scenario it has just about everything: cynicism, practicality, realism, big business optimization strategies, big government collusion with big business. This one has legs.
 
If UC accepts the contract extension, I think it should demand the $60M/yr rate.
 
Regarding the 4/27/2005 07:37:24 PM post: I think UC should tell them to stick it where the sun doesn't shine!
 
Any idea of the current DOE/UC contract language dealing with an extension?
 
I posted a related question on a different thread 4 days ago but never read an answer, so I am re-posting. I was told that DOE has unilateral power (i.e., they do not have to have UC's consent) to extend the UC contract up to 18 months. Does anyone know anything about the terms of the current contract regarding DOE's power to extend?
 
DOE can extend the UC contract up to two years - anything longer requires congressional action. UC can choose not to accept this at any time (well, at any fiscal year boundary).
 
07:17:21 PM does have an interesting theory but it doesn't stand the legal test. A bidder is not allowed to come in with a completely different management structure/concept than the one specifically being bid. Such a bid would be nonresponsible to the RFP and would therefore knock Lockheed Martin (LM) out of consideration.

It's a little like the saga of three brick layers. The first brick layer was asked. "What are you doing." He replied, "I'm putting one brick on top of another brick." He was fired for a lack of vision. The second was asked, "What are you doing?" She responded, "I'm building a wall." She was fired for having a limited vision. The third was asked, "What are you doing?" He responded, "I'm building a cathedral that will soar high into the sky, lifting the spirits of all who see it; a monument to the spiritual nature of humanity." He was fired because he was supposed to be building a garage. The current RFP seems to be calling for a garage and not a cathedral. LM will bid the garage and not the cathedral. That will come later.
 
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