Thursday, June 01, 2006

Govt. Oversight: A NEW Way

LANL Company pledges to lead lab to next level

By ANDY LENDERMAN | The New Mexican
June 1, 2006

A newly created private company officially takes over Los Alamos National Laboratory today, and congressional leaders are hopeful the lab will be open with the public and encouraging for scientists.

No formal ceremonies or speeches are scheduled for today's handoff from the University of California to Los Alamos National Security LLC. But it's the official end of an era, which began in 1943 when the University of California managed a project to create the world's first atomic bomb.

"I have full confidence that the scientists of LANL will continue to lead the way in finding solutions to our nation's biggest problems, whether it's weapons programs, advanced science or developing sources of energy," U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said in a statement.

The lab's management contract was put out for a competitive bid in 2003 by Congress. Several security and safety scandals helped drive the discussion over what to do with the lab.

Michael Anastasio, a nuclear physicist, is the new lab director. He has pledged to uphold the lab's mission, which is to maintain the nation's nuclear-weapons stockpile and engage in scientific research.

"I look forward to working with the new leadership team at the lab," Domenici said. "... I've told them that they should always try to be as open and forthright as possible about what is happening at LANL, even if the news is problematic."

U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., also stuck up for scientists in his statement. He said he hopes "the new management will give great emphasis to encouraging the highest quality scientific work and intellectual contributions."

Anastasio's spokesman Jeff Berger said the National Nuclear Security Administration selected the new manager for a job, which is to enhance science and business practices, including safety and security, at the lab.

"Mike Anastasio has made it clear that his goal is to make Los Alamos the premier national-security science laboratory well into the century," Berger said.

Ninety-six percent of University of California employees took job offers with the new company, Bernie Pleau of the NNSA said. And Los Alamos National Security will be doing more of its own oversight on how it runs the lab, Pleau said.

NNSA Director Linton Brooks has asked his agency's Los Alamos office to handle oversight in a new way, Pleau said. "He believes the responsibility of the federal government is to establish what we want, and the responsibility of the contractor is to figure out how to get it to us," Pleau said.

Contact Andy Lenderman at 995-3827 or alenderman@sfnewmexican.com

Comments:
So this kind of oversight--this NEW kind of oversight--by the U.S. Government is the "Lay Way, without DeLay" (as in Kenny-Boy and Tom, the Hammer)?
 
Domenici said. "... I've told them that they should always try to be as open and forthright as possible about what is happening at LANL, even if the news is problematic."

This is one hypocritical SOB. This guy refuses to acknowledge Sara or me when we contact his office and he assisted in covering up all of the illegal activity surrounding Nanos and the shut down. I hope you will all remember his true colors when this gutter rat runs for re-election in 08.
 
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