Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Senator Says Sandia Handed Out Bonuses After Disciplining Employees

By John Fleck
Journal Staff Writer

Sandia National Laboratories publicly disciplined employees over security problems two years ago while privately giving them bonuses, according to a U.S. senator whose staff has been investigating the issue.

In letters to Sandia's federal managers last year, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, called for a federal investigation into allegations that the disciplinary action was "a smokescreen designed to protect everyone involved and to deceive the public."

The letters became public over the weekend.

At the time they were written, Sandia managers were scrambling to deal with a series of high-profile security problems, including stolen computers, a lost set of keys to a high-security lab area and guards caught sleeping on the job.

In one case, according to Grassley, an employee was given a five-day suspension because of the security problems, then given an $18,500 bonus three months later.

Sandia officials would not comment Monday on specific cases but acknowledged that some people disciplined did get raises.

"Some employees who had been disciplined ... were given compensation increases to their pay," Sandia spokesman Michael Padilla said in a written statement. "Annual increases are given for reasons consistent with Sandia's compensation system."


Full Story

So where's all the outrage over this?

If this were about LANL or LLNL, before any more facts were in, POGO, the DOE IG, GAO, news media, and many on this blog, would be screaming to the high heavens for UC's and Dyne's head on a stick. I wonder if Lockheed Martin CEO Steven is even going to be asked about this at the next LM board meeting.
There's no outrage because it's not as 'chic' to bash Sandia as it is to bash one of the UC labs. It's fashionable to bash LANL.
This is all part of the campaign to make sure UC/Bechtel wins the contract...
Yes llc001, it seems that you've exposed UC/Bechtel's secret operation; it must be a conspiracy. Never mind the congressional correspondence or the lack of an intelligent response from Sandia or Robinson. Can you guess why? Because it's true, that's why. It has nothing to do with aliens, secret conspiracies, or whatever. This is par for the course inside Sandia.
It's good to see they have the "right stuff" to be able to step right in and run LANL. I was getting worried there for awhile.

Given my experience working for defense contractors, I would not be surprised at all to find out that this is par for the course.
Domenici To Announce Winner of LANL Contract

On Thursday, Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM, will visit Los Alamos National Laboratory to announce to the staff the winner of the contract re-bid. The University of California has held the contract for over 60 years since the Manhattan Project during World War II. Numerous safety, security, and accounting scandals have plagued the Laboratory in recent years, calling into question the wisdom of continuing the UC management, and leading to the decision by the former Secretary of the Department of Energy Spencer Abraham to put the contract up for bid.

Two corporate entities, each allied with a university and other corporate partners, have competed for the contract: Lockheed-Martin, allied with the University of Texas, and Bechtel, allied with UC. Informed sources at the National Nuclear Security Agency and the DOE say that a little over two weeks ago, the committee in charge of the contract re-bid process picked Bechtel/UC to assume the contract on June 1, 2006.

Upon being informed of this decision, Rep. David Hobson, R-OH, was said to have "left the meeting in a fury." Subsequently, say informed sources at NNSA, who wish to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, the committee's decision was reversed, and Lockheed-Martin and UT will be announced as the winners by Sen. Domenici. It was unclear whether the current Secretary of DOE, Samuel Bodman, and NNSA chief Linton Brooks would accompany Domenici to New Mexico for the announcement.


[Is the above "news" story legitimate?]
NNSA, this is too funny. Come on. Let's decide the biggest National Lab contract with a simple coin toss. Hmm, but how do we prevent a weighted coin? Maybe the potential directors can arm wrestle. Of course, they would have to watch the DOE Wrestling Safety Video first and sign in triplicate.

Wait - how about a televised soccer competition with both transition teams. The fastest runners are probably the best to oversee LANL. Or maybe the fastest senators...
Hey, wait a minute! Is this "J. Miller" Judith Miller of New York Times fame? (Or, should I say, FORMERLY of NYT?)

I vote that the "news" story is bogus. (Happy Pearl Harbor Day...)
It doesn't pass the smell test.

Definitely bogus; it doesn't make sense.
Hey, "J Miller's", don't you know that cruel and unusual punishment is
banned by both International Law and the Geneva Convention.
Dear "Judith Miller":

St. Pete is in Paris today (accompanying Condi?).
Too bad. Nice WMD story for the Day After Pearl Harbor Day, though.

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