Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Heard in the hallways at LANL

Submitted by Anonymous:

Heard in the hallways at LANL:

The decision on the contract is "being vetted" in the halls of
Congress, as we speak. The only reason for "vetting" the decision is
to prepare Congressman Hobson from Ohio that, after all of this, the
winner is Bechtel/UC. Why else?

-Anonymous Fly-on-the-Wall

Well, Anonymous-Fly-on-the-Wall, let me tell you this:

If anyone from DOE/NNSA cringeingly approaches the Honorable Congressman from Ohio, they will say to him, "Sir, Your Grace, if you please, Bechtel won!" (and then whisper most quietly, "(((And UC)))").
An ebullient Rich Mah was spotted in the Hot Rocks cafe yesterday, to add some grist to this particular mill.
Its the Latte.
I'll have whatever he's having.
Jeez! I didn't know that Finknottle was in Hot Rocks the same morning I was. (I gotta keep a close lookout on my back trail, as Louis Lamour would say. -Who IS that masked man?)

So, what do you read into what I overheard Mah say, as he was getting his cappo?

"The best revenge is living well."
Official taglines from their corporate websites ....


Bechtel = To build a better world

University of California = It Starts Here


Lockheed Martin = We never forget who we're working for

University of Texas = Nine Universities. Six Health Institutions. Unlimited Possibilities.


Not these mean anything. I was just curious after seeing a LM commercial on TV.
I sincerely hope that you are wrong. If Bechtel runs LANL like they run one of LLNL's project you people had better be prepared to slow down. If it takes you 30 days to get the job done now, plan on 90 - 120 days to get it done when they take over. I think an appropriate analogy would be that "Bechtel's employees are slower then molasses going up a hill on a cold day". If you are a person who wants to get something done in a reasonable amount of time, you'd be better off retiring and call it good.
As a long time LLNL employee (UC), I actually find myself pulling for the LM/UT team for the following selfish reasons.

1) If LM/UT wins, we'd keep our director. Mike has been doing a very good job steering the Lab in these uncertain times and has a vision for its future, plus he's well liked and respected by LLNL staff and UCOP.

2) A LM/UT win "might" take congressional pressure off DOE to punish UC more by taking away LLNL. A Bechtel/UC win puts more pressure on DOE to make a change at LLNL.

3) A Bechtel/UC win at LANL would make a Bechtel/UC bid for LLNL more likely, especially since UC is on record as saying both labs should be run by the same contractor. If Bechtel/UC loses at LANL, I doubt UC would feel a need to team with them at LLNL.

UT has no interest in LLNL, so a LM/UT bid for LLNL is a nonstarter... plus heads would roll at UC if UT were able to acquire a national lab in California, UCOP will pull in every marker it has in DC to keep this from happening.

A more frightening proposition would be a teaming up of LM and UC to bid on LLNL...I can almost see DOE forcing UC into this box in order to have a common denominator in the management of LANL, LLNL, and SNL.

4) If LM/UT wins and the LANL transition is rougher/costlier than expected, maybe DOE will not use the LANL RFP as the basis for the LLNL RFP. The LLC requirement will be the kiss of death for LLNL. Many LLNL staff are already looking to transfer to other local UC sites (LBNL, Davis, Berkeley, Merced, UCOP, etc) in order to remain full UC employees.
LarryLivermoreVRIPer, you state, "Many LLNL staff are already looking to transfer to other local UC sites (LBNL, Davis, Berkeley, Merced, UCOP, etc) in order to remain full UC employees."

Do you have any idea how easy or hard this might be, especially as it pertains to TSMs? I can see a few well-known scientists being able to move into prof positions, and even some of the support types finding jobs as well. However, there is no equivalent position to a LANL or LLNL TSM at the UC campuses. Thanks.
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