Thursday, May 19, 2005

News Release, U.S. Senators Pete Domenici & Jeff Bingaman

News Release
U.S. Senators Pete Domenici & Jeff Bingaman


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRIS
GALLEGOS/Domenici (202) 224-7082
MAY 19,
2005
JUDE McCARTIN/Bingaman (202) 224-1804

DOMENICI & BINGAMAN LOOK TO FINALIZATION
OF LANL CONTRACT COMPETITION

Despite Concerns with Final LANL RFP, Senators Want Process Finished

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman today said
they want the competition for the operations and management of Los
Alamos National Laboratory to be completed on schedule, despite some
concerns with the final request for proposal (RFP) issued by the
Department of Energy.

Domenici and Bingaman today stressed the importance of the lab and its
employees knowing who will lead the renowned facility into the future.
The DOE National Nuclear Security Administration issued its final RFP
for the LANL contract.

Domenici and Bingaman, chairman and ranking member respectively of the
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, had offered
recommendations to the NNSA during the drafting of the RFP.

"The final RFP is not everything I would have wanted, but
it is what is now in place to dictate the last leg of the competition.
It has taken a long time for DOE to prepare this proposal, and I am
pleased that in 60 days we will know who the new lab manager will be
and we can strengthen our focus on the lab's national security
mission," Domenici said. "I know change is difficult, and I know the
challenges facing employees and their families. But I have every
confidence that it will turn out to be a good situation for Los
Alamos."

"I remain concerned that under this RFP, senior scientists
will decide to retire, and that there will be vastly different pensions
for employees depending on when they were hired. But the final
decisions have been made, and I'm glad that the bidding process is
moving forward. It's my hope that the bidders take to heart our
concerns about the pension plan, and that each team puts together a
very strong pension proposal," Bingaman said.

Based on the final RFP schedule, the bid proposals should
be returned in 60 days and a contract award will be made on or about
Dec. 1, 2005. After a contract is awarded, the RPF outlines a
six-month transition period for all interested parties, including
employees, to analyze the new contractor and the benefits agreement in
order to make the best decisions for themselves, their family and
career.

--MORE--


Page 2 DOE/Final RFP for LANL Contract


In general, the final RFP is offering a fixed seven-year
contract, with an option for another 13 years. For the first time
ever, DOE is proposing a fee range for bidders, between $53 million to
$79 million annually (30 percent fixed at $17million to $20 million,
with 70 percent "at risk" based on annual negotiated milestones).

The RFP will mandate a stand alone pension and corporation,
and outlines a series of options for existing employees. It also
outlines expected contractor support for regional initiatives.

"I am hopeful that the end result will be right for the
lab, the employees, the state of New Mexico and the nation. From what
I can see this will be a vigorous competition. The bidders, including
the University of California and its team, will determine what they can
offerthe lab and the employees as the new manager. I think each team
brings outstanding and unique capabilities that will make a positive
contribution to the science and management of Los Alamos," Domenici
said.

"We have three strong teams that have shown interest in
bidding for the Los Alamos contract. Which ever team is selected, I
firmly believe that LANL will continue to be a premier laboratory for
science. I hope the teams will keep in close contact with us as the
bidding process moves forward," Bingaman said.

The Senators favorably noted that two bidding teams led by national lab
directors- Dr. Mike Anastasio of Lawrence Livermore leading the UC team
and Dr. Paul Robinson of Sandia leading the Lockheed Martin team
and-have proven track records of supporting science and are very
familiar with the unique challenges of managing a weapons laboratory.

Comments:
Don't want to poke holes at Domenici already but he seems to have it wrong when he states "and I am
pleased that in 60 days we will know who the new lab manager will be and we can strengthen our focus on the lab's national security mission," Domenici said." The proposals are due in 60 days, The selection will not be made until ~ Dec 1, 2005.
 
ya and the RFP sucks but no matter.... inequity in pay but no matter.... inequity in pensions but no matter.... what fools
 
"I am hopeful that the end result will be right for the lab, the employees, the state of New Mexico and the nation." He's hopeful? That's not too promising. How about being confident? Clearly Pete will not admit that this is a really bad idea.

Although many have written about the poor job that UC has done managing LANL, how well could they have done with half the financial incentives being offered the new contractor? Yes, senior scientists are going to retire. The loss to the nation will be irreplaceable unless these retirees can be hired by the new contractor as full fledged employees without the constraints of the Director's memorandum detailing the procedure for hiring UC retirees.
 
There are probably less than a dozen truly unique employees at LANL who
are 50+ in age and who can, in any remote way, be considered critical.
The angry old geezers at LANL who threaten "you'll be sorry when we are
all gone" are only fooling themselves. I've noticed several older staff
who have left our group in the last few months. After only a few months
they are completely forgotten. Most people are far less important to the
operation of LANL than they think. If you are 50+ and not happy with
the current situation, then retire so you will free a slot for a younger
worker to advance. And if you have a lousy attitude, please don't come
back as a retired worker. Find some place else to do your constant
bitching. If you think you are irreplaceable, then prove it by leaving.
We'll hire you back if we really need you.
 
To 10:47 - Congratulations! Your winning attitude has made LANL into what it is today. I will be leaving and happily alive and with some mental health left.
 
To the anonymous commentor at 5/19/2005 10:47:33 PM: Which HR Group do work for?
 
Bernie Wilde, Bob Weaver, (Fred Mortensen,) Mary Wood-Schultz, Harold Rogers, Keith Despain, Erick Lindman, Steve Kemic, Steve Becker, Rod Wood-Schultz, Brown Rogers, Gary Wall, (John Richter,) Tom Gorman, Tony Scannepieco, Don Burton, ... just to name a few.
 
5/19/2005 10:47:33 PM

I completely agree!
 
Those retirees who are truly necessary will likely be hired back. Those
who are not, won't. I see no problem with that. Let the culling process
begin.
 
I don't mean to rain on the parade here - but where is all the funding going to come from to support those that remain and all the retirees that wish to return?
 
It's probably indicative of the blog's demographics that the emphasis is on senior TSMs retiring, but there are a lot of fully-vested support people who are also elligible to retire. It will be interesting to watch how it plays out....
 
People like those that posted at 5/19/2005 10:47:33 PM, 5/20/2005 12:35:21 PM, and 5/20/2005 03:25:53 PM unfortunately (and ignorantly) fail to understand that most senior staff equate to technical and support capability. They represent a lifetime of networking with customers and colleagues literally from around the world. Remove the capability and see how many "customers" also walk and redirect their funding to other organizations away from LANL. Millions of dollars attached to specific senior people and their capabilities have already left the Laboratory due to the recent debacle. You, who are so quick to push our senior staff out the door, will be wondering what hit when the funding dwindles and your jobs are in jeopardy. You people also naively think they will still be available to bail you out or would even WANT to to come back. Go ahead, replace them with uncleared, inexperienced PostDocs and see how many customers come running to heap money on LANL for our new-found "capability". Shame on you!
 
I have to agree with 5/21/2005 09:27:33 AM. It is not only TSMs who are affected at LANL. Many others area lso affected and who will be missed. I'm not sure that a lot of scientists know who to purchase their supplies, etc.
 
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