Tuesday, November 22, 2005
02:44pm MST, 21 Nov 2005 A common question I hear these days: "Who do you think will get the Los Alamos contract?" The question is based on a false premise: that because I've been covering the nuclear weapons complex for a while, I might have some knowledge with regard to this question. That misunderstands a journalist's expertise. We don't really know much ourselves, so much as know who to ask. But I do ask, and almost all the smart people I know think the Lockheed Martin/University of Texas team is a sure bet. That doesn't mean LM/UT is a sure bet. That's just the overwhelming conventional wisdom. Ralph Haurwitz did a good job in a Cox News Service story this morning of
"People at the lab are more comfortable with UC because they know it," but conventional wisdom holds that the incumbent is at a disadvantage, said Tom Bowles, the lab's chief science officer and a member of its executive board.
After all, Bowles and other University of California employees acknowledge, if the government was satisfied with current management, why would it have opened the contract to competition?