Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fix-It team notes progress, successes

From the 11/15/2005 LANL NewsBulliten

Editor’s Note: For more information on the Fix-It team, see the July 21 Daily NewsBulletin.

Since Laboratory Director Bob Kuckuck’s Fix-it team was created last summer, it has successfully resolved several “bite-sized” issues raised by employees as presenting obstacles to doing work more efficiently.

The Fix-It team investigates and brainstorms solutions to issues raised by staff and various Laboratory organizations, such as the Group Leader Action Council, the Division Leaders Council, Dot Com and others. The director asked the team to concentrate its efforts on smaller, more immediate issues that, if solved, would remove obstacles to doing science. The group now meets regularly to identify potential problems for solution and to appoint champions to ensure resolution of these problems.

The following is a brief summary of some issues that have been resolved and closed. Many others are currently being addressed.

• Returning retirees. A policy that delegates authority from the Director’s Office and eases the ability to bring back retirees was issued with Director’s Instruction Number 04-006.2 on Aug. 23.
• Publicizing purchase card improvements. See the Aug. 17 Daily NewsBulletin story on enhancements to the purchase card program designed to reduce the small-purchase workload on procurement personnel so they could focus on institutional, strategic purchases through the end of the fiscal year.
• Undergraduate student classification and salary determination. Two Physics (P) Division cases of misclassification were recently resolved, and the Science and Technology Base (STB) Program Office is currently developing a proposal to remove job classifications from the process.
• Sub-accountable hazardous chemical transportation. A disagreement regarding interpretation of training requirements for transportation of small quantities of certain hazardous materials has been resolved. All parties agree that such quantities can be properly transported with limited training. See the July 21 Daily NewsBulletin article for more information.
• Duplicate paperwork for foreign national visits. A concern that a new 982 must be completed for each visit that a foreign national makes within one year was clarified. These 982 forms can be approved for time spans that accommodate repeat visits by a foreign national within one year.
• Security and Safeguards (S) Division approvals of cell phones. Information Security (S-11) agreed that the requirement for their signature on Computing, Communications and Networking (CCN) Division’s cell phone request form did not add value. The form was revised and the S-11 signature block was removed.
• Vetting policies. An issue arose regarding the Lab’s failure to vet policies for their impact and practicality for implementation. There is a process in place that provides for the vetting of policies by the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Science Officer and Laboratory Counsel (LC) for this purpose. Notices have the same requirement, however they can be issued at a lower level and although the same provision is in place, it is not always followed.
• Healthy snack items in vending machines. [The Laboratory] has obtained permission from the NNSA Los Alamos Site Office, which holds the vending machine contract for the Lab, to work directly with the vendor to make changes on items offered in the machines. A notice will be sent to the groups asking for suggestions as to locations that can be piloted for customer use.

Comments:
I was interested to note bullet number 1 regarding streamlining the process for bringing back retirees. My group put in my paperwork to come back as a lab associate on or about September 1. The paperwork subsequently became silently "lost" in the system. I discovered this when I received notice two weeks ago that my clearance had been terminated because my lab associate paperwork had not been processed within the required 90 day time limit. After a half-dozen phone calls, my associate paperwork became "found", and I was reassured that it required but a mere administrative action to reinstate my clearance. I just needed to fill out a new PSQ, fill out a DOE F 472.1C, and obtain an appointment to with S Division to get re finger-printed.

I have filled out the PSQ and form F472.1C, and am awaiting an appointment with S Division to finalize the process.

I can only imagine what the process was like before it got fixed.

--Doug
 
Please get rid of the picture of the day, so that scrolling is not required to view an article...
 
I'll take a vote on that request. Sounds to me like a rather lazy reader initiated it, but if enough people feel that way, I'll remove the POD.

--Doug
 
Doug,
I have nothing against the POD, but I do have problems with scrolling because of arthritis in my fingers. Maybe you could make the POD a thumbnail that we could enlarge if we wanted to.

Larry Creamer
DX-1, Retired
 
Seeing the parrot makes my day, but perhaps it would be better to have him (her?) on the sidebar instead.
 
Okedoke. Sidebar it is.

--Doug
 
Doug,
How many parrots are at the Parrot Farm? Just curious. I once spent the night next to a McCaw (SP?) in a cage. He hollered all night and I didn't get any sleep.
 
Isn't it ABSURD that we have to ask permission from the NNSA site office to change the contents of the vending machines? Is this how LASO spends their valuable time?
 
Hey, "Lips".

14, mostly rescue cases. Ours all sleep at night, unless a mouse runs across the floor of their room. Then they all wake up.

--Doug
 
I, for one, welcome our new snack machine overlords.
 
As do I, Kent! (Hee!)
 
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