Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Energy secretary to announce winner of bid

San Francisco Business Times - 1:22 PM PST Tuesday

U.C. will learn Los Alamos contract decision Wednesday

The Department of Energy said Tuesday it will announce the winner of the $79 million contract to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico on Wednesday morning.

The University of California and the University of Texas both made bids on the seven-year contract with private companies -- U.C. with San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. and U.T. with Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp.

The University of California is the nation's largest university system, and the University of Texas is the second largest.

Bechtel and U.C. are equal partners in their bid, but Lockheed is the lead partner in the U.T. bid.

The University of California has managed Los Alamos National Laboratory since the lab was created by the Manhattan Project during World War II. The lab, birthplace of the United States' atom bomb, remained a central site for nuclear weapons research and development.

After several security lapses and administrative mistakes, the Department of Energy put the lab's management contract up for a competitive bid.

Samuel Bodman, the energy secretary, will announce the winner of the bid at a news conference.

© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.

Right, Bechtel and UC are "equals."
"Several security lapses and administrative mistakes" later, and the "equal" partner Bechtel will get a 50/50 share of the "take." $79 million divided "equally" makes UC golden by $30-1/2 million, compared to year before last, or by $36-1/2 million, compared to last year, when they were penalized by a factor of three for their "several security lapses and administrative mistakes."
Right. Equal. (heh, heh)
Bwahhh, hah, hah ! ! !
(Be still, my beating defense-contractor heart. Don't want to dislodge the stent.)
I'm not normally a vindictive person. Really, I'm not. But, I confess to having spent a not-small part of today picturing Dynes, Foley, Nanos, 'Baghdad Bob' Jim Fallin, 'Comical Ali' Kevin Roark, Don Cobb, Sue Seestrom, Rich Marquez, and a slew of the other UC-sponsored incompetents who are today undoubtedly being gnawed by the ugly knowledge that they have lost the whole enchilada. And you know what? After all the disruption and pain these clowns have caused at LANL this past year and a half, I am enjoying their discomfort.

Pack your bags, boys and girls. Time to say goodbye.
"Spode" sez: "They [Nanosycophants] have lost the whole enchilada."

Red or green?
Oh, for...
"Red or green?"

Christmas, obviously.

Thanks, Ray, but no thanks. I will be glad to get out of this public affairs business just as soon as I can. I promised that I would keep the blog alive until the new contractor takes over, and I will. But between now and July 1 I will transitioning myself out of the blogosphere.

Let Sue Seestrom speak for herself, Mr. Finknottle:


Update from ADWP - December 20, 2005

I know there is a lot of anticipation in the Laboratory about the imminent announcement by the DOE on the award of contract to manage our laboratory. There is a lot of "buzz" that we might expect an announcement this week - but I would like you to remember that there was a similar "buzz" just before Thanksgiving. This announcement is just the first step toward the future for this laboratory. Although I am sure there will be a flurry of visits and ALL Hands meeting post announcement, the real information on benefits, etc that you all crave will not come for at least a month, if not longer.

A concern has been raised by employees regarding the impact contract announcement delay might have on the 60 days promised to employees to make their career decisions. I am afraid we do not have an answer, but I believe that NNSA intends to address this at the time of announcement.

You have all accomplished a lot this year - and because of your efforts the Laboratory received and "outstanding" grade for its performance in all mission areas. This is an incredible accomplishment, and you should all be proud.

In spite of all the uncertainty about the contract, I hope you and your families have a great and restful holiday, and that you all return energized for another year of outstanding accomplishment.



Now, Mr. Finknottle, you should just silence your "buzz" and make yourself restful, so that you can emerge next year *energized* as never before!
You know, Brad, I think that after all the hoo-haw from the announcement dies down, you, me, Roberts, and that Spode cat should all get together for a beer. What do you say?

Finknottle: can I come along also? We could go to Cheeks.
Sure Tommie. But we'll take separate cars, and I want to leave before you do.

C'n me an' my lapdog friend, Sue, come too?
Uh, by the way, I don't drive. One of you could pick Sue 'n me up, right? -Which one?
Here is my prediction for tomorrow.

20% of the people will be estatic that their group won.
20% of the people will be estatic that any group was chosen.
40% of the people will be just consider it another apathetic day

the remaining 20% have reached a level of apathy that they wont notice a contract change occurs in June.
The real test that will tell LANL staff whether or not the new contractor will improve LANL's situation will be to watch and see what they do with those managers whom we now know are of sub-standard quality.

I know this sounds oxymoronic coming from DOE, but in spite of that I suggest you all keep your eyes on what happens to managers like:

Don Cobb - probably not an issue as he will likely retire

Rich Marquez - pure poison

Sue Seestrom - a demonstrated lier who does not support her staff, but who will toady up to her boss

Dave McCumber - Another toady, especially skilled at staying out of the limelight

Micheline Devaurs - Toady, particularly incompetent

John Immelie - He hired Micheline

Judith Kaye - more poison.

Fred Tarantino - He's just not very good as a manager, is he?

Others, not really managers but whose notable contributions have recently distinguished them as candidates for hitting the road soon:

Jim Fallin - Basic dishonesty is his primary disqualification

Kevin Roark - ditto

Frank Dixon - slimy, even by laywer standards

CSO, CFO, CIO - These should be obvious

Except for their deputies, that doesn't leave much above the level of division leader, does it? We won't go there, or down to the level of program manager or group leader, but keep an eye on those who are known problems, and watch how they are handled by their new managers. LANL has years ahead of it before the University of California's slovenly management practices can be turned around, but it won't take nearly that long to tell if the new contractor has the will and expertise to be able to do it.
Well no matter what happens tomorrow all of you must remember that you will no longer be an employee of the UC or of the new contractor. You will become an employee of the "new corporation" LLC. This means that there will be change and it will not be like anything you are use to. If you are smart and at least 50 years old you will retire and move on immediately if not soon. If you stay you deserve what you get. It's your call. Make a wise one. Please
b-ohica, what exactly is your problem? Why do you feel you need to have the house come tumbling down? I have 30 years in the system and can retire, but am seriously considering staying on to rebuild, if I feel that my contribution might be useful.

Enough paranoia! There's a job to be done. Lets role up our sleeves and do it.
If UC wins, and I'm betting that they do, politics being what it is, the question is how engage them in "running" the Lab. The "no loss, no gain" hasn't worked. How to "incent" performance by a non-profit? Politics works, in a fashion, for LLNL and LBNL, as the California Legislature can, and has at times, intervened when employees get too upset. As LANL this does not work, obviously. The New Mexico Legislature, when it approaches LANL, comes on their knees.

If a realistic incentive system can't be worked out for UC, how can this work? They aren't evil, but the incentives have never worked, and their inattentive management simply follows. Lets hope that something real comes out of this; if not it would be foolish to hope for change from UC.

Hoping for the best (Sandia); expecting the worst (UC).
UC might not be evil, but a number of their top-level managers are malevolent: Nanos, Foley as two prime examples. Others are merely incompetent, e.g. Dynes.
b-ohica, what exactly is your problem? Why do you feel you need to have the house come tumbling down? I have 30 years in the system and can retire, but am seriously considering staying on to rebuild, if I feel that my contribution might be useful.

Enough paranoia! There's a job to be done. Lets role up our sleeves and do it.
# posted by llc001 : 12/20/2005 09:00:09 PM

It's over my man. It's all over. If you decide to stay on, well that's your choice, but I ask myself why. I see no reason to stay and start all over again in an insecure environment or one that has nothing to offer or even to stay for. By not means will a 401K do the trick. You can't put enough away to live on the 4.2 % interest that it will yield, even if you saved for next 30 years.

People work for and stay loyal to a company for two things, a large retirement check and full medical coverage for life. Those who say that these are not important are full of it up to their eyeballs. In my opinion if these two things are not there then I say to tell the company to pound sand..., and let the chips fall where they may.

The New York City Transportation Service seem to be the only ones who have there ducks in a row. They are currently striking for higher wages and benefits as I write, while bringing the city to its knees. They are doing what is right and it my hopes that many more follow suit.

So again I will say to all of you that are 50 years old+, take your money and run, it's not going to get any better and your UC retirement days are over. It's time to fold and start a new life elsewhere.
b-ohica...you have got to be shitting me. Saying you will leave a company that does not provide "a large retirement check and full medical coverage for life" and that an employee cannot be loyal to a company that does not do so...where have you been? Sucking off the LANL tit I assume. No companies can afford to do this. They never could...and who is your financial advisor...4% on a 401 K...bad investing. Go where you're gonna go...it won't get any better. As for the New York Transit workers, they are being totally unreasonable, they want the City of New York to care for them at an astronomical cost to ALL the citizens of New York. Finally, since when does a company exist simply to provide for your retirement...this is not the Los Alamos National Mission to Help b-ohica Retire Comfortably without Taking Any Personal Responsibility Laboratory. Retirement and health benefit provider is not in the mission statement of the nation's nuclear stockpile guardian last time I checked.
The LANL and all other firms need to look to another work force. No benefits, no work, unless of course you want to support all of the old people on a social program that will in fact feed them and keep a roof over their heads.

I guess you work because you just love your job , right? Obviuosly you make enough to bank 20% of your income ina 403B and live very happy with all the toys. probablky some overpaid group leader or division leader. If your job is your life, I feel really sorry for you. I look to the future and just how early I can stop working so that I get a few years before I croak to get what I want. I do not look forward to "work until I die" crap. That is BS now and should be BS in the future. New York workers are doing the right thing. Bring back the unions, not slave labor.
Oh and as far as "Retirement and health benefit provider is not in the mission statement of the nation's nuclear stockpile guardian last time I checked"

This is the biggest social program I have ever seen. It's a croak of crap they sold congress. Like I said before. A design freeze and a good maintenance program would have solved all issues. How long is the government facilities going to milk this program. It's been a boondoggle for decades. I hope the congress and senate wake up very soon and put an end to this welfare program.

Maybe the new corporation will be wise and 90 days into the contract do what is known as a, restructure.
This thread is getting out of hand but I want to make an observation. In my opinion b-ohica's comments reflect what I feel is wrong with this country. The "what's in it for me" selfish attitude is what's crippling America and not just LANL. Most of us, I hope, are proud of the work we do at LANL and the contributions we make to the nation's security. The writer who said he had over 30 years but was considering staying on to help in the re-building effort has the right attitude. I hope the b-ohica's out there do retire or leave so that the remaining workforce can focus on getting LANL back on it's feet.
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