Apr 18, 2007

News Release

Committee on Energy and Commerce
Rep. John D. Dingell, Chairman


For Immediate Release: April 17, 2007
Contact: Jodi Seth 202-225-5735

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Will Hold Hearing on Mismanagement at Los Alamos National Labs

Energy Secretary Bodman to Testify on Repeated Security Breaches, Members to Question Secretary About Pantex Strike

Washington, DC - The Secretary of Energy, Samuel W. Bodman, will appear before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on April 20, 2007, to explain why classified information has been leaked out of the Los Alamos National Labs (LANL), why the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is approving high level security clearances for admitted drug users, and what actions are being taken to remedy these and other related problems.

“We are pleased that Secretary Bodman has taken some important steps to address the blatant mismanagement at LANL,” said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “However, it is clear that additional actions are necessary. This hearing will provide an opportunity to determine how best to prevent further infractions and hold LANL’s new contractor team accountable for ensuring sound management.”

There have been an inordinate number of security breaches at LANL involving an inability to account for or control classified information, including the December 1999 Wen Ho Lee case; the mysterious disappearance and reappearance of two of the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) hard drives in June 2000; nine missing classified removable electronic media (CREM) devices in November 2003; unaccounted for CREM that LANL concluded probably were never created, but which led, in part, to a 7-month stand down in 2004 costing taxpayers $370 million; and the October 2006 cyber security breach which is euphemistically referred to as the “CREM de Meth” event.

“This is the 13th hearing held by this Subcommittee on mismanagement at LANL and our patience has grown thin,” stated Bart Stupak, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “Absent significant improvements, we will be seeking alternative locations in the DOE complex for having this classified work performed.”

Independent oversight by the Department of Energy (DOE) of LANL's Safeguards and Security late in 2006 found a substandard to failing performance in 14 out of 17 key areas such as classified matter protections and control, cyber security, and emergency management. The most recent infraction was discovered in March 2007, when officials found that a former LANL subcontractor, Lujan Software Services, posted to its web site the names and social security numbers of approximately 550 individuals. It remains unclear how long this information was in the public domain, who accessed this information, and whether it is being improperly used.

Stupak also plans to question Secretary Bodman about a related matter involving a security police strike at the Pantex plant near Amarillo, Texas. On April 16, approximately 550 security police at Pantex, one of DOE’s most sensitive plants, went on strike requiring the department to deploy a contingency force in an effort to keep the plant operating.

“We will be asking Secretary Bodman why the NNSA permitted relations with its security police force to degrade to the point that there was a strike and the potential for significant costs to the government,” added Stupak.

In addition to Secretary Bodman, hearing witnesses will include Gregory Friedman, DOE Inspector General, and Michael Anastasio, President of Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the DOE/NNSA Contractor at LANL.

-30-

Prepared by the Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about holding Congressional hearings on employee intimidation and related abuses that occur routinely inside the hollowed halls of the once-great Los Alamos National Laboratory? The proverbial tip of the iceburg is all Congress has seen thus far. The UC legacy continues.

Anonymous said...

How about holding Congressional hearings on gutless LANL staff members who have continued to let management run rough-shod over them?

If you're not willing to fight for your rights, why should expect someone else to fight for them on your behalf?

Your rights are now defined as follows: "You have the right to remain at LANL as an at-will employee until LANS decides to cut you loose."

Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Anything short of illegal???? This sounds like a threat and even the possibility of more security problems in order to try and appease NNSA.


SVTR PTS work is budgeted for in the SVTR project. Please contact
Larry Nilsen for the relevant charge codes (one for design, one for
construction). Please make this a top priority, critical project-- this trumps *all* other PTS work. There is renewed pressure from NNSA
and the director's office to ensure that the SVTR project is
operational by June 1.

A couple of points:

-Don't assume that there will be a AIS security plan finished prior
to PTS design or construction. We need to do everything in parallel.
I don't see the PTS requirements being complex, however. Rich should
have a good idea what needs to be done and the architect/engineering
folks can provide locations for racks and desk locations. All fiber
from the SVTR should run to LDCC 105A (no analog/point-to-point KVM
will be used). There will need to be a small run from the racks
within the SVTR to the user desks within the SVTR. (fiber also) For
now, all computing will be SRD. We may add SNSI later. No TS
computing, though there is TS document storage.

-I don't want to see a single POB/lock box for classified computing
in the SVTR. I don't want conduit on the walls. Clean and simple
design, please!

-It is important that CTN (or subcontractor) not be perceived as a
constraint on completing the PTS or networking aspects of the SVTR.

-I need weekly status updates on the PTS work and I need an
anticipated completion date ASAP. Please let me know of any show- stoppers as soon as possible. Realistically, anything except illegal
or in violation of DOE/NNSA policy can be accomplished. And even DOE/ NNSA policy can possibly be appealed with the right argument (we
would have to convince LASO).

-While I am away, Mike Fisk can provide technical guidance and Paul
Dotson or Alyn Ford can provide management support.

Unfortunately, I will be out the next two weeks on travel and
vacation. I will, however, be checking email with some regularity and
can help unstick things as needed.

I apologize for the sudden pressure to make this happen. Naively, I
had assumed this work had already started.

Thanks,
Alex

Anonymous said...

Idiotic!

Management has been incompetent, so Stupak wants to move the work rather than change the management?

Anonymous said...

I guess Mike Anastasio gets to fend from himself... No one from the "parent companies" that gave birth to LANS LLC have to take part in this congressional grilling. In the past the Lab Director at least had someone from UCOP sitting next to them taking some of the heat. Now DOE/NNSA's forcing of an LLC on LANL allows UC, Bechtel, BWXT and WGI to hide and still collect their management fees.... and I bet BWXT corporate is just happy to let both the LANL director and Pantex manager talk about how wonderful and supportive the LLC's parents are of management at these sites. Someday someone in congress is going to wise up to the criminal thievery perpetrated on the taxpayers by DOE and the companies creating these fake LLCs that shield them from actual responsibility but allow management fees to flow into their corporate pockets. And don't get me started on the actual pain caused to LANL & LLNL employees by NNSA and the stripping of UC employment benefits...

Anonymous said...

How about hearings on the plethora of hearings about LANL? We have such hearings because they make for great show, not because the problems are as bad as they are made to look.

Anonymous said...

Denial is not just a river in Egypt. Things ARE bad, and are getting worse by the day. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. For much too long the University of California has been granted absolute power. Zero accountability equates to absolute power. Corrupt managers are the result. Employee abuses are the result. Security breakdowns are the result. Denial doesn't change reality, just like putting on LLC garb doesn't change the fact that UC is still in charge. Denial is good for one thing and one thing only...maintaining the status quo.

Anonymous said...

If each and every LANL employee would escrow $1000 for my combination legal/retirement fund, I'd be more than happy to come out of annonymity to point fingers at management and tell some really incriminating true stories.

Anonymous said...

We can only hope that Congress realizes the source of the problem is Bodman and D'Agastino. There was a real problem with extremely poor manangement of LANL by the UC. So what did Bodman and D'Agastino do? They re-hired UC under the guise of Los Alamos National Security to run the lab. Only this time, instead of paying UC an annual $8M fee, they're paying $73M. They wrote into the request for proposals that the new manager must form a limited liability corporation. Presto, another $65M in costs in the form of the New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax. Then LANS has to fund the pension plan, hires dozens of phony managers making huge salaries, and the total cost is $175M PER YEAR that comes out of the LANL budget. $1B over the lifetime of the LANS contract. Funding that could pay for real management and infrastructure improvements at LANL. Bodman and D'Agastino flushed $1B down a rat hole.

No Congress, the mismanagement isn't at Los Alamos, the problem is the DOE.

Anonymous said...

The "Oversight Committee" is one step away from gutting LANL, both financially and employees', and no one, not one person in our Management had stood up for either the Institution or the employeess, where are our so called leaders? William Gibbs, Susan Seastrom, Terry Wallace? They seemed so gung-ho when they got their high paying positions, the employees and community should long remember these people, who have allowed this once great Institution to be dismanteled in such a sad a disrespectful way.....Is anyone at LANL going to stand up, or is it really too late?

Anonymous said...

C'mon, c'mon. UC never managed the place. It provided some academic freedom protection, passed out the paychecks, and took care of benefits. The DOE bureacracy took credit for whatever was accomplished with what it doled out to various groups and organizations and took no other responsibility for anything, blaming LANL workers for real and perceived shortcomings. All that's changed is that benefits (particularly absence of 403 and 457 plans, actually funded by employeess themselves) have been reduced, and now money to goes to corporations, most importantly, one, Bechtel, which isn't even publicly owned.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Terry Wallace should be real proud of himself. He claims to love LANL and take pride in having been part of the student program, which he is single-handedly killing. This is likely the last year for summer students at LANL. In e-mails over the past week they announced that LANS is getting rid of student housing and the person who ran the student program in a most excellent fashion. Funding for students has disappeared - many examples of that. Office space allocated for students is also not allowed anymore under LANS. Everyone should thank Terry for supporting education and students. I guess the postdoc program is next ...

Anonymous said...

You consider Wallace, Seestrom and Gibbs "leaders"?

Anonymous said...

Yes, they are "leaders".

They're just not leaders.

Anonymous said...

8:52 AM noted - "...LANS is getting rid of student housing and the person who ran the student program in a most excellent fashion."

No surprise since NNSA pit/weapon component production sites have no need for students (or scientists).

Anonymous said...

I don't believe for a split second that Anastasio wants anyone else to speak on LANL's behalf during these hearings - he's the top boss and who else would be able to state that 'morale is great' with a straight face?

The UC non-management of LANL was a drop in the bucket compared to the present day. With so much 'management [overhead]' that we've gained, there will likely be a lot of reality doled out on June 1st in the way of 'at will' policy being exercised in order to reconcile operating costs with the shortfall of a few hundred million dollars.

Anonymous said...

8:52 AM said, "...funding for students has disappeared - many examples of that..."

This falls under the umbrella of LDRD, which is also being controlled by Terry. He appointed Priedorsky to do the same to the PD program. Student program and PD program = science = liability

Anonymous said...

What about:
Lab payroll is $20M over this time last year.

What about:
Many of the top managers are asking to be transferred because their housing stipends run out 1 June.

What about:
LANL has too many people for the budget, but not enough people to do the job and meet PBIs. That means RIF to get rid of people then hire the right mix of people.

What about:
People being assigned RRW2 task are refusing.

What about:
???

What else is lurking out there?

Anonymous said...

For the first half of the FY(Oct-Mar), LANL averaged about 440 student FTEs. About 30 were charged to LDRD. (FTEs not necessarily equal to headcount.)

Anonymous said...

7:17 PM noted ...For the first half of the FY(Oct-Mar), LANL averaged about 440 student FTEs. About 30 were charged to LDRD. (FTEs not necessarily equal to headcount.)

OK, the big bump occurs in the summer wrt student FTEs. I ask,if it is not related to funding then why is LANS getting rid of the student program?

Anonymous said...

What is this about the LLNL contract recompete being put on hold?...that LLNL would be handed back to UC for an extended term?...that LLNL UC-employees would remain UC for the foreseeable future?

Anonymous said...

4/19/07 7:11 PM asked - What about:
??? What else is lurking out there?

What about: Management across the Lab moving into the Ad Building - is this true? If so, why is this allowed considering that it was supposed to be torn down?

What about: When did they do a real job search for the new AD for environmental stuff announced today - good grief, they just named Carolyn Mengeng as acting like last week? Who was on this search committee?

What about: Mike's $20K base salary bump for giving LLNL the RRW? I hope people at tomorrow's Congressional hearings ask about this.

What about: That ugly green stuff that the Lab has sprayed all over the colon entrance. Oooohhh, so attractive.

Anonymous said...

In one of Mike's meetings with TSM's of various Directorates, he indicated that only he could represent and speak for the Laboratory in Washington. It seemed that he justified this one facet of his job as his sole reason for existing at LANL Director.

During the meeting he went on to show preconceived notions about LANL that were not at all in keeping with LANL history or with the best interests of the vast majority of LANL staff. He rudely and decisively cut off some of the TSM staff from finishing questions on topics that he did wish to discuss. It appears that he considers himself as one of the true LANS-LLC Fat Cats. He lives in Santa Fe.

Anonymous said...

What is this about the LLNL contract recompete being put on hold?...that LLNL would be handed back to UC for an extended term?...that LLNL UC-employees would remain UC for the foreseeable future? 4/19/07 7:27 PM

I heard the "new" announcement was going to be made on April 20th - tomorrow and that Northrup Grumman was the winner. This will force the "top 5" at LANL to actually fight for LANL as opposed to shutting this place down and giving everything to LLNL. This is why all the housing stipends are ending and why many top managers are asking to be transferred.

Anonymous said...

7:39PM

There is no money with which to tear down the old Admin Building.

Anonymous said...

7:39 pm said, "What about: Mike's $20K base salary bump for giving LLNL the RRW?"

Was this a bonus or a real base increase? Did the other culprits in this action get big bumps too?

Anonymous said...

From the comment of 4/19/07 7:40 PM, Mikey "udely and decisively cut off some of the TSM staff from finishing questions on topics that he did wish to discuss." Sounds like Admiral Butthead!

Anonymous said...

4/19/07 7:39 PM writes:
"What about: When did they do a real job search for the new AD for environmental stuff announced today - good grief, they just named Carolyn Mengeng as acting like last week? Who was on this search committee?"

Carolyn has a photo of Mikey peforming an immoral act with a barnyard animal.

Anonymous said...

Dumb question: why did the TSMs allow themselves to be cut off by the Ewok?

Anonymous said...

4/19/07 7:11 PM: What else is lurking out there?

What about the senior management doing something to MC-FOD since the TSMs have to perform janitorial duties while MC-FOD management sits on their butts and do nothing?

Anonymous said...

7:24,

Student FTEs look like they hit a planned peak of about 600 over the summer in J/J. I recall hearing higher numbers in years past, but this is not my area.

As to your question, I admit to having no clue of what you are talking about.

FWIW, I don't work with students, but I generally enjoy meeting them at work and around town.

Pinky and The Brain said...

4/19/07 7:53 PM Writes:
"Carolyn has a photo of Mikey peforming an immoral act with a barnyard animal."

This one? http://www.muttonbone.com/

Inquiring mice want to know.

Anonymous said...

4/19/07 8:00 PM:

"What about the senior management doing something to MC-FOD since the TSMs have to perform janitorial duties while MC-FOD management sits on their butts and do nothing?"

You need to know and understand Aguilera.

Anonymous said...

"Carolyn has a photo of Mikey peforming an immoral act with a barnyard animal."

There's really something wrong with some of you people.

Anonymous said...

4/20/07 9:02 AM commented "You need to know and understand Aguilera."

Obviously, people in MC-FOD do not. Please explain, how Aguilera can be allowed to make TSMs (who are paid a lot more per hour than the former Sparkle employees) perform janitorial duties (clean bathrooms, vacuum floors, empty trash, etc.) and the senior people at the Lab think this is OK and joke about it. Someone please explian.

Anonymous said...

4/20/07 9:02 AM commented "You need to know and understand Aguilera."

Couldn't swing an advanced technical degree, so settled for an MBA. Now has administrative brilliance to see to reducing overhead costs by having technical staff do the work. Distinguished performer material. Stay posted.

Anonymous said...

Aguilera sounds like someone who will be viewed as a top 15% performer - give that man a raise and a promotion. Hey, Wallace is looking for a Deputy ...

Anonymous said...

Why do you people even worry about this stuff? I heard that the job search for Terry's deputy is already going to go to Anna Zurek (yet another fine example of how people who graduate from the DDP get promoted way beyond their ability, but I digress). This job search is about as authentic as the one that ended up ... shocker ... hiring Terry.

Anonymous said...

4/19 7:43,

Did I miss the LLNL announcement?

Anonymous said...

No LLNL announcement... the best guess here in Livermore is it will be Friday April 27 and will go to the UC lead team (UC, Bechtel, BWXT, WGI, Battelle, and Texas A&M). There's also a rumor that UC has a larger share of the LLNS LLC than it does in LANS LLC. Unlike the LANL process there's been zero news from either the UC lead team (although the head/president of this team is the current LLNL Director, George Miller) or the Northrop-Grumman team (NG, AECOM Government Services Inc., CH2M Hill Constructors, Inc., Wackenhut Services, Inc. and Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc.) on their plans for LLNL if they were to win the contract. Northrop-Grumman has not publicly announced who the LLNL director would be nor have they established any local presence in Livermore. This has lead to speculation by the LLNL staff that UC has the edge and that structural/organizational/senior personnel changes will not be as dramatic as they were at LANL.

On another note, rumor is that 1500 to 2000 UC employees may retire from LLNL (7800 UC employees) in the next months (end of June is the normal unofficial retirement deadline for LLNL staff who want to get the annual UCRP cost of living increase in July). In my group of 15, we've already had 5 announce their plans to retire.

Anonymous said...

I've heard NG is proposing Steve Younger as Director. Apropos, no? We get Mike Anastasio (who clearly hates LANL) and they get Younger (who clearly hates LLNL).

Anonymous said...

Is Younger still at LANL? Does anyone know why he really left DTRA?

Anonymous said...

After yesterday's line of questioning to Bodman regarding picking UC/LANS to run LANL do you really think NNSA and Bodman can justify picking the UC/LANS to run LLNL? I would be shocked. Politically, it sounds like a very bad idea, especially when you consider the fine job they have been doing at LANL.

Anonymous said...

I can't see how DOE/NNSA could award the contract to Northrop Grumman, the same company that just this week was stripped of its role as co-manager (along with Lockheed Martin) of the Coast Guard’s $24 billion fleet modernization program known as Deepwater. The Coast Guard is now taking over the management of the Deepwater program after the first eight 123-foot cutters refitted by the NG/LM lead team were found to be structurally unsound and had to be decommissioned last year. And yesterday the Justice Department announced it was formally investigating the program amid concerns that NG/LM ignored potential problems identified by employees involved in the management of the program.

Anonymous said...

Younger is now President of National Security Tec (NSTec) who won the NTS contract as a consortium of NG, CHM2Hill, ???
www.nstec.com

Younger is president, and they have as VPs.. Dave Post (former LANL), Jim Holt (former LANL), Ping Lee (former LANL), ???? There are some others form NVOO, etc that I can't remember.

Once you get to a certain level you ALWAYS land on your feet. Regardless of past performance. Like your financial planner says "past performance does not indicate present or furture performance".