Friday, April 07, 2006

Domenici questions Los Alamos lab operating costs

Domenici questions Los Alamos lab operating costs

Last Update: 04/07/2006 10:13:54 AM
By: Associated Press

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - U.S. Senator Pete Domenici has raised concerns that the new Los Alamos National Laboratory contract has costs that could divert funds from science.

The New Mexico Republican says the new contract calls for a major increase in fees.

In addition, Los Alamos now will pay $75 million in gross receipts taxes to the state of New Mexico.

Domenici says millions of dollars more will come out of the lab’s bottom line, but the budget isn’t accommodating the extra costs.

A partnership that includes Bechtel and the University of California will take over the lab’s operation in June.


It sounds like Domenici's been reading the blog. GRT will be more like $100 million, however, and he neglected to mention the approximate $100 million "transition costs" that will also be incurred.

If you add just those three items up, LANL is looking at a $279 million budget shortfall for the upcoming FY.

Oh, and let's not forget the big increase in overhead created by the "new, improved" top-heavy management structure that has been announced.
Rod, now calm down. You obviously haven't read the email from Terry Wallace where he addresses these financial issues.
I don't know about Spode, but I haven't seen the referenced email. Perhaps there is information contained in it that should be shared here on the blog.

so where in hell as moron Domenici been the last 2 or 3 years? The fool is just NOW realizing the extra costs involved in Nanos' stand-down, the ill-thought-out transition and its endless reorganization schemes, and the new FOR PROFIT manager? I think it's time the old fool retired and let someone bring a whole brain take a turn.
Since when has anyone cared about the waste occurring around these parts? It's only taxpayer money after all. If you want to make up the difference, just fire all the law firms the Lab has on retainer these days.
Yes and you haven't even mentioned the boneheads that are now going to get four times the salary they were getting before and doing nothing more, while the rest of us lose ~$900K in their pension plan so that can not join the ranks of poverty. What a crock of sh_t. It's a wonderful world isn't it ? And they want loyalty to the mission !!!

My retirement papers were submitted today. Color me gone.
St. Pete is only now beginning to see the financial train-wreck that
is about to hit LANL? What took him so long? And to think, prior
to all this "for-profit" mania, it cost DOE virtually *NOTHING* to
run LANL and our staff was kept extremely happy with a solid pension
which DOE got for free. But, not to worry Pete. There is a solution
to this mess. It's called a RIF. Expect to start hearing hallway
whispers about it by Spring of FY'07. The managers I talk with are
already starting to get that "deer-in-the-headlights" look on their
faces when discussing how LANL will handle increasing burdens on
FTE and project costs brought about by a new and expensive executive
bureaucracy, GRT taxes, increased operating expenses, and LANS fees.

Least we forget, the TCP1 pension will eventually have significant
impacts on LANL's operating budget as older staff begin to retire
on this new, asset-poor pension.

This situation reminds me of Gen. Powell's "Pottery Barn" comment
regarding Iraq -- "if we break it, we'll have to pay for it". However,
in the case of DOE/NNSA, they'll have broken LANL but will then be
seen quickly running out the front door before anyone has a chance to
hold them responsible for the financial mess they have now created.
Yes, where has Domenici been for the past two years.

And, now that he knows about it extra costs of GRT, pensions, and the nearly 10-fold increase in management fee, what does he intend to do about it?
Not worry. LANS management have addressed this problem by creating 11 new ADs and splitting many technical divisions thus creating many more division leaders.

In times of fiscal crisis, more managers will always help.
Let's see what the numbers mean:

If Mr. Spode is correct in his estimate of a projected budget shortfall of $279 million, and the already exorbitantly expensive LANL staff members who are presently charging at a rate of around $320K (for a staffer who makes around $110K per year), then about 871 LANL staffers could be told to hit the bricks next year. More, if the less-expensive support staff are allowed to participate in the blood-letting.

However, if one takes "transition costs", and the costs of Bechtel's new heavy-duty management infrastructure (to include Mike A's sweet annual salary) into account, even more former LANL employees will be standing in the bread line. Let's see, if I remember correctly, the new FY starts at the end of October. That's when the real fun will begin.
Now let's add a new wrinkle. How many more bodies are we going to be required to absorb given that Bechtel Nevada lost the contract?
bottom line is that Domenici's comment is BEYOND INSULTING IN ITS STUPIDITY. Hundreds of millions of dollars flushed down a Los Alamos toilet over the past few years and they keep yapping about fiscal responsibility and cost-effective programming. Manic reorganization and centralization of support services (never cost effective) to look busy, waste more yet money, and having NO reason for any of it. Why are these people reorganizing before they even have their fat asses in their chairs?

And Domenici puts the frosting on the pork barrel by making his assinine comment about wasted money?
Has he never heard of Nanos and his flushed $300M? And what is the total cost of this transition? And just WHERE does all this $75M in operating money go?

Domenici is an idiot.
"Yes and you haven't even mentioned the boneheads that are now going to get four times the salary they were getting before and doing nothing more, while the rest of us lose ~$900K in their pension plan so that can not join the ranks of poverty."


You continue to say this without any basis. Is this your attempt to underpin the notion that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth??? I really want to know.

If Domenici had half a brain, he'd stop the recompetition of LLNL before its too late. LANL has already been irrevocably damaged at his hands.
Anyone notice how Mike A.'s been canceling all his previously
scheduled All-Hands talks about LANS plans for running the new and
improved LANL? Previous LANS memos had him scheduled for a second
All-Hands talk on the first week of April, followed by another
critical talk in mid-April. Both of these talks have been canceled
without explanation.

Why the delays, Mike? A lot of us at LANL would like to hear your
plans for running the new LANL, and we would love to hear it BEFORE
we submit our paperwork by the May 15th deadline. It's time for
Mike A. to throw his cards down on the table so we can all see what
he's holding. Perhaps he's bluffing or maybe he's got a Royal Flush.
I'd sure like to know what he's holding before I make my next bet.
One way to make up some of the deficit in funding is to stop all reclassifications. How many reclassifications or merit increases have actually been put on hold now for months? The story that I hear is that it has to be approved by the director and LANS. What has LANS got to do with any of this yet? This is certainly causing low moral. Are they really going to make up that much funding by playing with peoples lives? If you deserve the increase in pay then get on with it. Apparently your management chain thinks you deserve it, so why block it?
Mike "A" to get $1.3M for his efforts.

Well _Arcs_n_Sparks_ my advise to you since you say you live next door to Mickey baby is to go over and ask him, but I will bet that you will get the same answer that the newspaper reporter got, no confirmation and denial, however since you are a white color manager my advise to you is get your information from building 111 and you'll have a little insight. To boot Mickey's salary has been printed in several places to exceed $1.3M and is actually closer to $2M with perks and the fact that it is performance based with means most likely he will get a bonus check for pulling the rabbit out of his hat or could that be his ass. So there you go. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

The NM senator is right. The cost of running the new labs is excessive and unjustified, just as all of the salary increase. What bozo's.
Bend-Over, the only source for the Anastasio salary being 1.3 M (or, 1.4, or now closer to 2 million with perks) is the Blog. In fact, it is not sourced anywhere except the Blog, and another case of repeating the same mis-information over and over some how makes it “fact”. There are many examples of Blog postings becoming “facts”, but this is perhaps the more egregious. Will the costs of the new lab be higher? With Fee and GRT, of course. This alone is cause for concern, but adding “facts” like Anastasio’s fake salary, or a secret plot to overthrow Anastasio so that pit manufacturing can flourish are just attempts to churn the pot.
"To boot Mickey's salary has been printed in several places to exceed
$1.3M and is actually closer to $2M with perks" - B-ohica

B-ohica, the first time I saw this "$1.3 million" figure was in one
of YOUR own postings. I've yet to see it verified within any other
reliable publication. You say it has been printed in several
places? OK, it's time for you to put-up or shut-up on this one.

Let's see the links/docs that verify this figure you keep throwing
around. At lot of us at LANL are interested in Mike A.'s salary,
but so far we've only heard rumors. Where are the goods on this
"$1.3 million" figure? Let's see your evidence.
regarding Mickey's salary: If I were back at LANL, I could find out.
Just be careful when you're backing out of the parking lot after you've gotten the goods, Tommy.
Since UC will no longer be running LANL as of June 1, salaries at LANL will no longer be made available to the public... however, the compensation packages for the LANL director and senior executives at LANL - per the RFP - are subject to DOE/NNSA review. Section H-36 "(d)(2) (ii) The Contractor shall submit the following to the [NNSA] Contracting Officer: ...(IV) Individual compensation changes for the Laboratory Director, Deputy Directors (if any), and Senior Managers that report directly to the Laboratory Director/Deputy Directors, including initial and proposed changes to base salary and or payments under an Executive Incentive Compensation Plan."

I doubt DOE/NNSA would approve $1.3 - $2 million for the LANL director... although, Mike A is also the President of LANS LLC, which is not subject to this DOE/NNSA oversight, just like VP Foley's pay at UCOP was not controlled by DOE... so Mike A could be getting a bonus as LANS LLC President, on top of his LANL Director salary.

Its also interesting that the RFP in Section J, Appendix A, required... "Compensation for Key Personnel. The Contractor shall include in the Contractor’s employment contract with each of its Key Personnel the following: (i) a requirement that the key person’s employment is for a term of not less than two years, (ii) a condition that provides for incentives for longevity of service as a key person, and (iii) a condition that provides for disincentives for early departure."

So a large salary for the Director may not be too far off base.

LANS LLC salaries and cost come out of the $79 million annual award fee that goes to LANS LLC for running LANL... while the LANL staff salaries and cost are funded by annual federal budget (as called out in the Laboratory Tables in the President's annual budget request) or reimbursed (if an allowable cost) by DOE to LANS LLC. The problem is the $79 million was not in the Lab Table it has to come from somewhere... and unless DOE is printing money in the basement of the Forrestal Building, its coming from someone's bottomline - either DOE's or LANL's... and since DOE gets to decide where, guess what!
I have just written the NM Senator and asked him to not only look into Mike's salary but into the slary's of the other three that are coming from LLNL to LANS,LLC as part of his investigation as to why will it now cost more to run LANL under the new contract then it did when it was under UC. Lets hope he can find the facts and make them public. SF Gate was cc'd on the message. It's not that any of this is going to affect me because I am officially a two digit midget, but it may aid all of you in your desire to know the facts. You take cuts, they get gains. SOP in corporate America
People who post anonymously using other people's name are lower than scum. Equally appalling are the pathetic individuals who find it amusing. I doubt Mr. Hook gives a damn anymore what the selfish brats of Los Alamos think. So how about not using this man's name in vain anymore? Not only is it not funny, it's slanderous!
He got the message and so did you. The good news is that there are 1 in 5 millionaire who work there, probably the same issue at LLNL! That article told the public all they needed to know. Now I understand why DOE / NNSA is seeking wage and benefits cuts, but don't worry soon they will have a pool of 12,000,000 people to choose from.
If I may observe: you Los Alamos folk may be rich (*way* too rich, as it turns out; we're working on that), but your reputation for not having a decent sense of humor seems well-deserved. Maybe you're all too busy counting your money.

Our new 105% cap will help fix the "rich" thing over time, but I'm afraid there isn't much we can do about that sense of humor.

I should probably take this opportunity to point out that being rich, and having a good sense of humor are not necessarily orthogonal.

Take me, for example: I've been laughing all the way to the bank for several years now!


Bob :-)
I disagree, "moresnide". I believe that the real issue is that Bob Dynes has been a complete jerkoff for the past couple of years. As such, he has earned a certain amount of ridicule.

Respect is earned, and "Bobby" Dynes certainly hasen't earned any during his 3-year tenure at UC that I can see. Certainly not regarding his dubious leadership qualities regarding UC's involvement with LANL.

I feel the sarcastic humor conducted via his impersonation is appropriate and much appreciated, and further, I don't give a good God Damn how Dynes feels about it.
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