Monday, October 24, 2005

The Churn that is Los Alamos

Submitted by "W76 LEP"

__________________________________________-

The idea that a new contractor is going to land in
LANL without a huge disruption to LANL and the LANL
workforce is fiction. Attached is an ad that ran in
the Santa Fe New Mexican this weekend. The ad, posted
by UT, is for several positions in the new LANL should
LAA win the contract on December 1. This certainly is
the purgative of the new contractor, but the ad is for
several job descriptions that are in STB presently.
These jobs are at the TSM level, not at the level of
division leader or even group leader. Imagine, UT is
advertising for TSM level jobs (already), yet the
Robinson/Cook piece on the future of LANL claims that
only minor changes are coming. It is not like LANL
does not have deep bench strength in the area of these
postings. Taken to its logical conclusion, LM/UT is
going to bring in hundreds of new personnel to LANL
should they win the contract. Wonder why the LANL
staff is so stressed about a new contractor coming on
board? Everyone wants better management, business
systems that work, and a relation with congress and
DOE that keeps us from being a punching bag. However,
what is the real intention of LAA? What capabilities
and functions are going to be maintained?

Brad and Doug (I think) have both called out LM as
being a better choice for LANL in the future.
However, I am not convinced based on the evidence
presented. Either new LLC will bring business systems
and operations, but the is present LANL the workforce
they want?

[For the record, I have not stated on this blog which LLC I favor, Nor will I, until after the contract winner has been announced. This venue is available for all to express their views, and I have no intentions of influencing what is presented here. Brad, like any other contributor is free to speak his own mind. --Doug]

Comments:
The Director said today in his all-hands meeting that he thinks that regardless of which LLC wins, there will be 200+ new staff brought in. He presented this belief as part of the rationale for looking very closely at the number of new staff that we are hiring NOW so that there may not need to be a RIF or equally disturbing chain of events later.

I have no idea if he is right about the numbers but I appreciate the fact that he is trying to plan for the lab's future and not just his own.
 
W76 LEP indicates that he believes a house cleaning will be carried out by the LAA, should they win the contract, and implies that this would be a bad thing. One thing that I know for certain is that 63 years of operating in a work environment were good performance went largely unrewarded, and poor performance rarely caused an employee to be punished has resulted in a dirty house.

Personally, I don't even know what the STB is, but I strongly suspect that there will be few sacred cows when the new contractor takes over. Unlike Doug, I feel no moral obligation that prevents me from stating that LAA is my preference for the next contractor of LANL. I think that if anything can turn LANL around, it will be for them to do a good housecleaning that starts at the top.
 
Has anyone seen a job ad for an auditor? How about a whistleblower?
 
You're a funny guy, TH. And, you spelled wistelbloer correctly!

:-)

-Doug
 
This seems a bit premature on the part of LM/UT. Indeed, these are rather low level jobs, bascially at the TSM-worker level. Frankly, this is inappropriate at this time.
 
Considering how long the hiring process takes, they should have advertised these positions months ago.
 
Doesn't matter: there's a hiring freeze on.

:-)
 
Ummm, I looked at the ad, and each of the three postings say Director of ... I don't know how things are at LANL anymore, but at Sandia, directors aren't exactly Technical Staff Members.
 
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