Tuesday, May 31, 2005

ADSR emailgrams

Doug,

I find the ADSR emailgrams from Terry Wallace to be more informative than most AD messages about Laboratory management developments. You may want to post on your blog this new message about the contract bidding process. Note, in particular, that little information about the bids will be available before December 1, due to the nature of the competition. This secrecy would make it difficult for LANL staff to weigh in on the choices.

Anonymous


ADSR Emailgram
May 31, 2005

ADSR Emailgram
May 31, 2005

With the release of the RFP for the LANL M&O contract, many staff are
seeking information on what the respective bid teams are proposing and
how life at the lab would look should that team win.
Unfortunately, there will not be any real information available until the
winner of the contract is announced in early December. The
reason for this is the nature of the competition: the teams are
bidding for the contract and against the competition. This means that
each team will be trying to propose against what are the
perceived weaknesses in the competition, which includes everything from
organizational structure to names of key personnel. The
proposals are due on July 19th, and the two remaining suitors
(UC/Bechtel and Lockheed Martin/UT) are changing their strategies in real
time. For example, on Friday the LM team added another
industrial partner to their team to address concerns about operating
nuclear facilities.

The RFP is structured to be scored with a point total of 1000 points. The
Source Evaluation Board (SEB), whom ultimately makes a
recommendation to the Source Selection Official, assigns the points. The
broad categories for scoring include strategies for performing the
science and technology programs, business operations, laboratory
structure and small business promotion. The proposals are 250 pages in
length (or roughly one page per 10 million dollars annual
budget!), and each and every word is considered a potential winning
strategy or vulnerability. The only true known for the two teams are the
potential Lab Directors. Everything else is speculation or
rumor; and the rumors may well be planted by one of the teams as
disinformation to confuse or distract the other team. Again, I want to
stress that both teams are in an intense battle for a contract
potentially worth 50 billion dollars.

It is understandable that everyone wants to know what kind of changes may
be coming in 2006. The types of changes that have dominated the local
discussions include things like benefits. However, bigger
changes that could affect lab life include organizational structure
(i.e.; Will the divisions be reorganized?), key personnel (i.e.; Will
everyone at the top be new?), changing work scope (i.e.; Will all work
for others be curtailed?), and how the parent organizations
reinvest in the lab (i.e.; Will there be programs like the UC
Directed Research and Development?). It is certain that these
factors will be very closely guarded, and we will not know until the end
of the year.

This uncertainty generates angst. But there is some comfort in
knowing that both teams profess to want very much to preserve LANL's
strengths. This includes the remarkable science, the sense of
academic freedom that fosters the scientific creativity, a diverse work
force, and a broad national security mission. The only
certainty is that LANL will be different in 2006 - there will be a
corporate presence like never before. However, it is most likely that
the reasons most people came to Los Alamos - the chance to be part of a
national security team and pursue science and engineering that makes a
difference to society - will continue.



Terry


--
_____________________________________

Terry C. Wallace, Jr.
Associate Director of Strategic Research
Los Alamos National Laboratory



Comments:
I would argue that while exact details of a bid are not knowable many of the outlines of the bid are knowable.

This partial knowability should help LANL employees decide what to do.

For instance, neither of the commercial entities will be part of a bid that significantly decreases their earnings per share. The University of California is unlikely to bid in a way that goes against their stated twenty year growth plan. Outsourcing jobs to the districts of key congressmen is a reasonable strategy. Outsourcing current portable lab functions to the company's or university's home base would make sense. Some of these functions might be human resources or training.

I am not saying that I know what bids will look like only that reasonable assumptions will narrow the shape of the expected bids dramatically. This narrowing gives current employees a better handle on their own future after the contract is awarded.
 
Is it a sure thing that UCRS has extended beyond September 30, 2005?
 
No. If you are thinking of retiring you should put in the paperwork now- you can always withdraw it if things look up.
 
If the UC still thinks they have a chance at the contract, they will go along with an extension.
 
The Benefits office told me today that September 30th remains as the last day to retire UC.
 
" The Benefits office told me today that September 30th remains as the last day to retire UC."

SOMEBODY HAD BETTER CHECK THIS OUT VERY CLOSELY!

I am a retiree so it is not up to me to check it out.
 
Dynes' letter said the UC would extend, if asked. The last in the paper was that Los Alamos NNSA was seeking DOE approval to extend. If the extension doesn't become official, all 50 plus 5 will have to, if they are rational, retire at the end of September.
 
Dynes also said that UC had not heard anything from DOE regarding an extension. Not even approached? Bodman indicated in his February visit to LANL that an extension would be done (while Domenici and Brooks sat nearby). DOE knows very well the timeline, the uncertainty and anxiety of employees, the daily loss of staff, subsequent loss of capability, and corresponding loss of other customers. This is carefully orchestrated to cleanly and effectively remove more expensive senior staff without getting dirt on their hands. My group lost another person Friday and two more yesterday. Also, many people are NOT retiring but just resigning and slipping quietly away to other offers without fanfare. Just another sad example of DOE's gross mismanagement and continued passive agression against national Labs...to our brothers and sisters at Livermore, take heed.
 
I predict that in two years UC gets awarded LLNL without much fanfare, and they get to stay enroled in UCRP. How many representatives does CA have??
 
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