Monday, May 16, 2005

Lockheed Martin To The Rescue? NOT!

From Anonymous:


Lockheed Martin Corporation is arguably one of the front runners in the
incipient competition to run LANL. It's time to take a closer look at
this company and its history.

In a 13-year period between 1990 and 2003 LockMart paid over
$420 million in fines, penalties, restitution, or settlements for 84 instances of
misconduct or alleged misconduct. Out of the top 10 federal
government contractors they are number two in misdeed pay outs.
For the entire list see
"http://www.pogo.org/p/contracts/ca-030701-contract.html">
http://www.pogo.org/p/contracts/ca-030701-contract.html.

In 2000 The U.S. State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls charged Lockheed Martin with 30 separate violations of the Arms Export Control Act. The
charges related to illegal technology transfers to China, transfers that allegedly helped the Beijing government correct critical defects in a ballistic missile rocket motor. Although LockMart denied the charges it eventually paid a $13 million fine to settle the case.
Details available on
"http://www.spaceandtech.com/digest/sd2000-15/sd2000-15-001.shtml">
http://www.spaceandtech.com/digest/sd2000-15/sd2000-15-001.shtml.
The fine against Lockheed Martin was, at the time, believed
to be the largest civil penalty ever imposed under the
Arms Export Control Act.

This is the company that will help LANL keep its secrets safe?

In January 2003 a federal judge approved a $1.4 million settlement of a 1997 lawsuit filed by a former Lockheed Martin Employee accusing the corporation of defrauding the US Government by inflating cost estimates for a computer project. And in August 2003, Lockheed Martin settled a whistleblower lawsuit filed in 1997 under the Civil False Claims Act. The U.S. Government actually joined the suit in 2001,
alleging that LockMart provided inaccurate data on a foreign military sales contract as part of a scheme to create additional profit to offset overruns on another Air Force contract. The result was a $38 million fine.

There are too many other similar misdeeds to list here; they are described (with references) in
"http://www.polarisinstitute.org/corp_profiles/public_service_gats_pdfs/lockheed.pdf">
http://www.polarisinstitute.org/corp_profiles/public_service_gats_pdfs/lockheed.pdf. They
include pleading guilty to bribery and criminal obstruction of federal audit.

This is the company that will help LANL correct its financial problems?

In 2000 Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, manager of the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant, was issued
a weighty $1 million fine for multiple violations of nuclear safety requirements. It was,
at the time, the largest such fine issued by the DoE by more than a factor of two. LMES
didn't appeal the fine, at least part of which was related to a 1999 explosion that resulted
in injury to 11 Y-12 workers. Story is on
"http://www.oakridger.com/stories/082900/new_0829000034.html">
http://www.oakridger.com/stories/082900/new_0829000034.html (account required).

This is the company that will help LANL become a safe place to work?

What would the nation gain if Lockheed Martin were to run LANL?

If the upcoming competition is to have any objectivity at all
it would seem imperative to fully examine this company and its detestable record in detail.
Let's remember that Wen Ho Lee was never found guilty of any espionage
charges; yet, LockMart paid a fine for illegally selling secrets to China. Financial
problems at LANL have amounted to a few hundred thousand dollars, at most;
yet LockMart paid fines on the order of tens of millions for repeatedly defrauding the
U.S. Government.

One wonders how this company could possibly bring about any meaningful
change at LANL.



Comments:
Gee with all that adverse publicity I wonder why they aren't the lead off story on CNN every night?
 
Sandia in ABQ has had 19 radiological incidents during the past 18 months. As a result, their DOE site office fired a bow shot by mandating no RCT can work past 5:30 pm. Further, they've recently discovered they've got a minor Be problem floating around the rafters of Z. The solution? PPE, of course! Double layers of everything, gloves, gowns, respirators... Nah, respirators, we don't need no...

Yep, LM sounds a lot better than UC too me...
 
To 6:46:04 We do not hear plenty of other stories on CNN as well, just "Michael Jackson child abuser" and "Runaway bride". I believe the stories are genuine. Being not UC does not automatically make you good, and being a military company for some strange reasons usually makes you bad.
 
Having LM as our new owners offers one huge advantage. LM gives lots of
money to lots of politicians. Puff! Suddenly our problems with Congress
disappear. That's why you never see these stories on CNN every night.
If that's what it takes to get the Congressional back-biters off of LANL's
back, then I'm all for it. Let the pay-offs begin.
 
All of the above may well be true, but I have two important questions:

- Do you like working under Admiral Foley, UC's VP for Lab Management?
(I'm assuming you watched his performance this morning)

- Did you enjoy how UC stuck us with Admiral Nanos for way too long a time?

If you agree with UC's character judgments on the above two fellows, then
you'll love additional years with UC. As for me, I admire CJ Robinson, and
feel he'll make a much better leader for Los Alamos. He'll also do a much
stronger job defending LANL than UC/Nanos/Foley/Dynes ever did. I'm tired
of seeing LANL continuously beat up by both Congress and the press. If
UC wins the contract, Congress and the press will have a field day the
next time some little incident happens out here. We need some breathing
room, and the only way we'll get it is if UC leaves Los Alamos.
 
LM not, are you wrong or what. UC has shown us what it can do and I prefer LM or anyone else for that matter to UC.
 
I agree with the previous two commentors: We have seen what UC has done and continues to do. Foley pulling the microphone out of Cobb's hand is an example that nothing has changed or will change.
 
I think some of the replies here have completely missed the point. First, and foremost, the point is that any individual or body evaluating potential bidders must look objectively at LM's history as well as UC's. Second, people seem to be pointing to Foley's apparent lack of understanding and empathy for Kaupilla as a negative for UC. But do you really think that a public corporation with 130,000 employees and the kind of record that LM has would be more empathetic in such a situation?
 
8:21:

Yep.
 
"But do you really think that a public corporation with 130,000 employees
and the kind of record that LM has would be more empathetic in such a
situation?" - Poster 8:21

I say we do an experiment. Let's let LM run this place and see how well
they treat the LANL staff. I've heard very little grumbling from the
people who work under LM over at Sandia. Perhaps they are doing something
right. I know how badly UC has been at managing LANL, especially at picking
our leaders (ie, Nanos and Foley). I'm ready to give LM a chance. Heck,
unlike Dynes and company, LM/UT/Robinson might actually defend us in front
of Congress and the press. Now wouldn't that be a refreshing change?

I know several TSMs who left LANL and went to work for Sandia over the last
few years. They seem to like it there, even though they came from the
Los Alamos environment. Robinson has also made it very clear he doesn't
foresee running LANL exactly like SNL. He understands it is a different
place. I'm looking forward to this experiment, as I suspect the odds are
high that DOE will choose LM/UT over the proven failed management by UC.

It's important to realize that LM is not the boogey-man. The boogey-man was
sitting right in front of you on the stage on Monday morning, and guess what?
He didn't even bother to wear a mask.
 
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