Monday, July 18, 2005

I think this qualifies as both waste and fraud

From Anonymous:


Have you read this?:

http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php?fuseaction=nb.story&story_id=6918&nb_date=2005-07-18

Unless I missed something here, all Divisions will have to have this Dedicated Procurement Representative (DPR) supplied at the respective Divisions' expense.

There are two problems here:
First, the procurement system should not be so complex that special training and "dedicate" people are required to successfully procure things.
Second, this is an added cost of doing business but is done so in the stealth mode: it does not show up as either G&A or as a procurement tax.

I think this qualifies as both waste and fraud.

Comments:
Has anyone tried to walk into SUP since they moved into town? You are not allowed in SUP unless they allow you in (regardless of badge). Not only is their service lacking, they now fully control whether you can talk to them by choosing whether to answer phones, whether to return calls, and not allowing you physically in their building.
 
I work in SUP and I think the last post misses the point. Some procurements are very complex, requiring precise specifications, carefully crafted scopes of work, particular terms and conditions, and multiple reviews (including NNSA depending on the dollar threshold). A single point of contact--common to a procurement expeditor used by industry--will gain efficiencies at the bottom line, which helps the Laboratory as a whole. The example Divisions used in the referenced memorandum seem to think it is a good idea. Buying close to a billion dollars a year in goods, services, equipment, and construction is complex and is a process that requires collaboration between the buying organization and the requesting organization. Of course, most of the comments on this blog are not about collaboration but, rather, about criticism.
 
to 7/18/2005 08:22:30 AM: "Of course, most of the comments on this blog are not about collaboration but, rather, about criticism."

That is because the science side is the business that brings in the $. The support side needs to understand that the Lab's business/product is science and the support side is here to enable efficient production of science, not to hinder it nor to try to gain (build closed unresponsive empires such as PS, PM, and SUP)by it. The lab support side has become the worst entitled bureacratic community I have seen. I appreciate the need and respect the support side, but only those that put in an honest days work.
 
Anonymous at 7/18/2005 08:22:30 AM misses the points of the original post:

A procurement system should NOT require special training for routine prcourements.

The added cost of the Dedicated Procurement person is a hidden tax.

anonymous at 7/18/2005 08:45:30 AM has it right! The science side brings in the money yet the support side has the ability to tax both directly and indirectly.
 
If staff can't even get in the door at SUP, then what is the use of having
these employees located in high-cost Los Alamos? I eagerly await the
arrival of LM and Robinson. Once here, they can consolidate SUP operations
by using the lower cost, more efficient, Sandia SUP staff. Most orders can
be done over the phone, via E-mail, and if needed, using tele-conferencing.
There is a big cost advantage to be gained by combining the LANL and SNL SUP
operations and physically locating them down in ABQ. Are you listening, LM?
 
Anonymous at 7/18/2005 08:19:31 AM must be making it up about not being able to get thru the door to see SUP personnel. This is scandalous! That's what you get with a division director who has no experience in the work of the division.
 
Let's rid ourselves of all this mumbo jumbo and return to the BUS distributed model. That model worked very well until Marquez disestablished it. Making something that is fundamentally simple exceeding complex appears to be his definition of progress, a thought process he brought here from NNSA/DOE. For example, instead of letting LANB (winner of the Malcolm Baldridge Award) handle our payroll checks, let's let Wells Fargo do it. Instead of having a BUS distributed model that works, let's split BUS into at least two pieces so that establishing responsibility for inaction and inefficiencies is almost impossible. Instead of using Diner's Club Business Cards, let's use US-One Business Cards so we can pay interest or have our credit ratings downgraded when we can't get our travel reimbursements on time. Let's use a tailor made business data system and incur millions in cost overruns instead of asking Sandia if we could use its system that has been running well for several years. Need I say more.
 
Anonymous at 7/18/2005 07:17:40 PM has a good suggestion. The distrubuted model worked very well for the requestors. SUP didn't like it because, being control freaks, they felt a bit helpless. About five years ago there was a Focus Group on Procurement (there were others on HR and Property). The performance of the deployed Procurement staff received rave reviews while the performance of the centralized Procurement staff was trashed. The report of the Focus Group was so critical of Procurement management that it was buried.

So, the question is: who are the Procurement (SUP) managers working for?
 
Ask Bretzke.
 
Better yet, let's bring back Salgado, Milam, and Palmieri and forget to count property or reconcile purchase card purchases for several years and then try to explain to Congress why we don't really need to do business like the rest of America and then let's watch the Secretary of DOE compete our contract. Ah yes, bring back those good old days. And then somehow figure out how Procurement has managed to execute $230 million of procurement transactions in the last 3 months while you were bashing SUP.
 
To poster 9:04pm, I can't wait to see your job outsourced. You exhibit
just the type of behavior we have now come to expect from SUP employees.
Perfectomundo! By the way, counting property and reconciling purchases
was suppose to be the job of BUS/SUP staff. Therefore, doesn't that
make them partially responsible for the current contract re-compete? And
no one wants to return to the bad ol'days of Pete Salgado. The staff
just want a SUP system that works to help us, rather than hinder us.
 
8:51 -

Is that John "SCC is completed on-time, and on-budget, but we'll just finish up a few things out of operating overhead and then I'll start COMPASS" Bretzke?
 
The above conversation is why LANL should get a nice big RIF after the contract.. through all departments. People seem to spend more of their time tearing each other down than trying to work together. They build little empires that they think they control and then play topple the other emperor like some 1800's European country.

I used to spend a lot of time trying to defend LANL to various congressional investigators, but these days I would just prefer to let them come in and do a 'Lab realignment.'
 
5:59, sounds like you had an unpleasant and thankless job.

Sen Domenici might be able to delay a RIF, but when he is gone it might well be open season on LANL's budget.
 
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