Friday, May 20, 2005

They must be prepared to clean INSIDE

Feds sweeten deal for LANL manager
The New Mexican

Bidders seeking to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory must pick a price — between $63 million and $79 million a year. That’s up to nine times what the University of California, the lab’s current manager, makes now.

They must find a person smart enough to be director of a $2.1 billion research lab and confident enough to certify to the government each year that the nuclear weapons there will work.

They must be prepared to clean INSIDE

up 62 years of environmental waste. They must create an attractive pension plan.

They must draft a plan for rebuilding a troubled nuclear-weapons lab, which has sparked the ire of Congress for its safety, security and businessmanagement flaws. They must show their abilities in manufacturing and be willing to manage a bomb factory.

And they have 60 days to do it.


Full Story

This is incredible:
The management fee increses from $8M to $80M, more than $70M.

The cost of the pension goes from $0 to about $60M.

The Gross Receipts Tax goes from $0 to ~$100M.

That is a total of $230M, EVERY YEAR.

How does the DOE (aks, DUMBASS OFFICE OF ENERGY) justify this as cost-effective management?
It makes perfect sense, UC had zero liability, and the new contractor will have full liability. It was necessary to raise the fee in order to get someone other than UC to manage the lab. Performance and competence has a cost.
Regarding the liability matter: The LANL contract will be held by a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). This is what Westinghouse has done at Savannah River and Oak Ridge. The LLC's assets will be only what comes from the management fees. Those assets will be transferred from the LLC to the parent organization(s). So, with no assets, the LLC is judgement proof.

Large companies like Westinghouse, Lockheed-Martin, BWXT, Bectel, etc will not expose the corporation to unreasonable liability.
Just exactly what is wrong with the DOE paying the GRT, as Sandia does? Aren't we all New Mexicans? What is the point of not paying the tax? I would like to see the GRT used to improve the schools, especially those in Northern New Mexico.
The move to a LLC Corporation running the Lab is akin to what is going on around the DOE complex, and Sandia Lab is run by such an entity, with good success.
The UC management structure, as presently in place, is ridiculous and irresponsible. It amounts to appointing the Director and Deputy Director and walking away!
re: "I would like to see the GRT used to improve the schools, especially those in Northern New Mexico." It does not matter how much money you put into the schools. Thats not going to solve the problem.
I agree with 4:45. The United States Public School System is much like LANL: the system is screwed up and throwing money at it only makes it worse, because to do so just rewards incompetance.
Regarding the school system:
Too many of the school teachers, motivated by the National Education Association (NEA), have the work ethic of a Teamster. NEA continues to insist that more money and higher salaries (paid to the same poor teachers) will solve the problem. Very simply, that is not the case. If the parents are interested, then the students do well. In Northern New Mexico, except in Los Alamos Country, education is denigrated by too many parents. How else to explain the 44% drop out rate in the Santa Fe public high schools?

When the parents want their kids educated, then they will be educated. Until that happens, no amount of school funding will make a difference.

No Northern New Mexico politician has taken the bully pulpit to try and motivate the parents to get interested. Of course, high school drop outs are not eligible for employment at govenment labs. But, they can vote and vote often.
C'mon. The next thing you'll tell me 5:18 is that the 48% of the births in NM to unwed parents (2nd only to DC) is linked to the dropout rate and the general poor economic condition of NM.
To Anonymous @ 5/20/2005 05:52:13 PM: Please keep this subtle sarcasm off this blog. Too many Members of Congress are reading it (actually, they have their staff read it for them) and this kind of subltety goes right past them!
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