Thursday, January 05, 2006

UC's Los Alamos contract not yet a done deal

Failed suitor Lockheed Martin could file protest of award, awaits Energy Department briefing on reasons for decision
By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER

The naming of a University of California/Bechtel-led team last month to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory might not be the last word on who runs the birthplace of the bomb.

Executives at Lockheed Martin, the defense contractor that led a competing team with the University of Texas, have been smarting at losing the Los Alamos contract and talking privately about a protest.

Lockheed spokeswoman Wendy Owen said consideration of a contract protest is "speculative," at least until a meeting Friday when the firm's executives will try to learn why they lost.


Full Story

LM/UT got courage from the Rose Bowl.

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My suggestion to UT/ Lockheed is "let it go". If in fact the UT was cheated out of this contract then maybe it was to their advantage.

From what I see happening the entire system will self implode shortly anyway and the further they are away from it the better they will be.

Got word from an LLNL employee that they just had the floor space taxes pulled from nine on-site facilities yesterday. Then they gave all of those funds to another so called, "more important project/s".

I wonder what they are in for in 2007. They must be down-sizing in preparation for the new contractor.
My suggestion to Lockheed is "Go for it!" DOE/Tyler P. clearly did not take past UC performance into account. The lack of that can be clearly demonstrated. Show us the scores on the past performance part of the assessment! It will be clearly shown that there was an unhealthy (monetarily inspired?) bias towards UC on that score.

It might also be interesting to discover what "Hint hint Nudge nudge, Wink wink" prompting went on when Tyler said to the two competitors, "Gee guys, the scoring was SO CLOSE we need to make the determination based on bid cost.

Wink wink. Nudge nudge.
Yeah UT won the important thing, a football game. And in true form Lockheed has done its patriotic duty, demonstrated its management superiority to anyone with more than two brain cells, and will classily rise above this missed call. Thanks Paul, and a big bronx cheer to Mr. Brooks who even had the gall to compliment GPN to our faces. You havn't gotten anything right yet.
Rich Marquez and Tyler P. are close friends. Both worked together at DOE-Alb. Marquez mentored Mr. P., nurturing his career along in the process. So guess who inherited Marquez' old job after he was forced to leave DOE early due to recurring charges of sexual harassment? You guessed it--Mr. P. As for Bob Kuckuck, until just a couple of years ago he was Deputy Director of NNSA. Both Marquez and Kuckuck now work for UC. So why does it surprise anyone that Mr. P., in concert with Mr. Kuckuck's ol' buds at NNSA, would orchestrate a late-in-the-game steroid-induced victory for UC.

..."past performance, who cares about past performance? I don't care about no stinking past performance!"...said the scoundrel to the bewildered taxpayer.
As it turns out, there was no winking going on with this one.

If past performance was somehow missed as a decision criterion, then some adjustment upward might be needed for Bechtel and BWXT. I suspect (since speculation is the norm on this right now) that UC was simply smart enough to overcome any past performance deficit by picking the best nuclear industry partners - those who could make up the difference. Perhaps UT and Lockheed just did not have enough positive points themselves or underestimated those of others.

I would also rather continue to have Sandia managed separately from LANL and LLNL if just to continue to have somewhat of a pragmatic sanity check on what comes out of the more academic labs.

How very, very cozy. I've been searching for an explanation as to why UC was able to pull this one out. Now I have it. I was not aware of the connection between Tyler Przybylek and Rich Marquez. Couple that with Kuckuck having been a past deputy director at NNSA and *nobody* should be surprised that the bid process managed to bend the scoring process to suit UC.
The real "fix" on this contract goes all the way back to the draft RFP, which had a heavy pro-UC bias. While the RFP was later modified, the evaluation criteria weren't. This accounts, in good part, for the lack of bidders. Only Sandia, another "insider" saw fit to bid.

The RFP was driven by; Pete Domenici. With his insistance that the RFP "not exclude UC" he poisoned the process. Not excluding UC meant, in effect, a pro-UC RFP.

As for Sandia, they are likely better off losing the bid. LANL has a set of severe problems, and a history of denial and avoidance when confronted with these problems. Not a whole lot of laughs.

The taxpayers, as Walp commented, are the real losers, but they are all busy watching football. The game goes on, the trough is full, let the feeding continue.
Lock-Mart will not appeal. They were in the game to give the contract procurement the illusion of objectivity - after all, until the RFP was modified, no commercial entity was interested.

Remember how Bill Clinton's Hazel O'Leary blacklisted EG&G out of existence? Lock-Mart will not risk that by contesting the contract award. They will graciously withdraw to fight another day.

That said, UC's bid strategy was very clever. By tying up the three partners with DOE/NNSA operating experience, they weakened Lock-Mart's ability to put together a top-notch team. UC can say "We know we suck at running the business and security side, so we'll pass that on to our "industrial partners," and everyone knows we're the best academic system in the world." They appologize for the massive screw-ups for the recent past, beg forgiveness, and go on as before.

The really interesting problem is going to be how to bring down the overhead without laying off a huge number of Hispanics. I don't think they can do it. And, with many of the senior (mostly Anglo) TSM's looking to leave, the imbalance between TSMs and support people can only get worse. Anastasio may well earn his $1.3M....
"Anastasio may well earn his $1.3M...."

I doubt it. He doesn't want to come to Los Alamos. His performance will be pro forma, at best.
Given the rewards that Lockheed Martin has received from my parent organization (none) for cleaning up after AT&T and producing a tightly run ship at SNL, and given the apparent fixed bidding process that they were lured into entering recently for LANL, it would not surprise me to see Lockheed give SNL back to DOE. What is the point of continuing to put in an excellent performance when they have a completely unappreciative DOE rewarding them with a mediocre rating?
I hear, by the night-time howling of my canine pals, that Mr. Anastasio is not only going to come to Los Alamos, he is trying desperately to live in a VERY EXPENSIVE Bathtub Row home in the Townsite, at a price of something like his annual salary (or more), with backing from UC, who also paid Vice Adm. Nanos for his home up in the hills above the steaming, squalid, impoverished masses of Los Alamos.

I think that Mr. Anastasio doesn't want to stay at Livermore, where there is massive dog-doo about to hit the fan with NIF, and another messy re-bid next year on the Livermore sidewalk. He's no dummy, our new Director. He'll be here for some time.

I'm often taken for a walk past Bathtub Row...
If pappaknows is correct (and with the reliability of various random authors including myself about 10%.. that is a big if).. then LM would have several good points to argue. Now the case would be finding out what leverage they could get if they dont argue for it.
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