Oct 17, 2007

Word from Washington

From "Anonymous"

Word from Washington: LANS plan rejected. So no announcements today.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

LASO will not be the approver of the "PLAN". This distinction will belong to Sam Bodeman.

Anonymous said...

A plan developed by the world-class best and brightest management team wasn't approved? How can that be?!

Anonymous said...

What would Lucy do right about now?

Waaaaaaaaaaa...waaaaa...!

--Ricky
(Marquez)

Anonymous said...

Why was it rejected? Could it be because it laid off too few staff? Perhaps it didn't do enough to help finish off those pesky WFO efforts? Maybe it didn't contain the draconian steps necessary to complete the crushing of staff morale? Or perhaps the severance offers were considered too generous?

I know, it didn't require those laid off to pay back their last year's salary! That must be it!

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe the plan was rejected. Seems unlikely that it was developed without any informal feedback since NNSA requested it.

Anonymous said...

Rumor is the RIF plan was rejected because folks in Washington wanted a transition option built into the plan that enable workers to easily transfer their years of service to one of the branches of the military for continued service. This, it was thought, would enable Lab patriots, who want to keep serving their country, a way to do so (in Iraq). So stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

It was rejected because Washington wants much higher numbers for the RIF than LANS was willing to put into their initial WFR plan. It was as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

11:39am

You present a creditable reason for LANS's plan having been rejected, but I'd like to know how you came to believe this.

I believe it, not based on any information I've heard from Washington but rather because I believe that LANL will be seeing the full predicted $300 million budget shortfall this FY, which could easily translate into a RIF of ~2,500 staff.

Anonymous said...

If true, has the plan been modified and resubmitted?

Anonymous said...

10/18/07 11:45AM said:
"11:39am, You present a creditable reason for LANS's plan having been rejected"

Hey...I think 10/18/07 7:44AM did too, Green Beret's here I come!

Anonymous said...

Wow- If I'm RIFfed you think the army will take me- I have 30 years to transfer...

Anonymous said...

But hey!

You've really gotta admire the way LANS is keeping LANL staff appraised of all the latest RIF developments.

Anonymous said...

5:31 pm: "You've really gotta admire the way LANS is keeping LANL staff appraised of all the latest RIF developments."

Might give pause to those who revile the UC "lack of oversight." LANS doesn't lack oversight, just transparency and compassion.

Doug said...

I spent 20 years observing UC's lack of oversight, 8:20pm. I do revile them. Nanos, Dynes, and Foley in particular. Credit where credit due.

--Doug Roberts
LANL, Retired

Anonymous said...

Many forget (or refuse to admit)that when the Lab was under UC control, "UC" was us! WE were the UC employees who had "oversight" over our own activities. to paint UC as some distant unengaged "overseer" is just disingenuous. We were UC employees, bound to do things right. If we didn't, it isn't UC's fault, it is ours. If employees of any corporation screw up, is it the corporation's "oversight" that is to blame, or the employees' misdeeds?

Anonymous said...

"Many forget (or refuse to admit)that when the Lab was under UC control, "UC" was us! WE were the UC employees who had "oversight" over our own activities. to paint UC as some distant unengaged "overseer" is just disingenuous."

What a brilliant observation! We the employees establish policy. We the employees hired Nanos and empower Lab Legal to litigate everything under the sun, don't we? We the employees authorize the head of security and auditing to cover up fraud, waste and abuse problems, don't we? We the employees are the ones who brought in LANS, didn't we? We the employees are the ones who keep the idiots in leadership that have dragged our lives through the mud the past few years and now are non on the verge of trashing our careers. We the employees are the ones that encouraged the UC President to give his cronies back in California hidden compensation and allow such scandals to drag the University as a whole through the mud. Yea...it's US...WE are the ones to blame for incompetent leadership of this place...not UC. We are UC...right? NOT!!!!
I rank this guys post in the top 3 dumpest posts I've ever seen on this blog. Must be one of the Lab's best and brightest managers. Sounds like Marquez.

Anonymous said...

"Many forget (or refuse to admit)that when the Lab was under UC control, "UC" was us! WE were the UC employees who had "oversight" over our own activities."

And where was UC oversight when the Lab decided in the early to mid-'90s to split up responsibility for the care and feeding of Lab facilities to 21 independently run Facility Management Units? The Division Leaders were given the (direct or implied) direction to "carve up" the territory by Division. The Facility Managers were then all appointed, with no job competition, to ill-defined positions - made worse by the fact there were no documented requirements for SKA's (skills, knowledge, and abilities for those unfamiliar with basic HR concepts). One bad result was a high percentage of FMs with essentially no relevant job skills, another was the fact that each FMU could use its own unique tools and processes for managing their facilities. IMHO, that was one of the most stupid, highly inefficient, and wasteful things the Lab could have done in its entire history - of course with the exception of Nanos' shut-down.

Anonymous said...

8:45 am & 9:45 am:

Yeah, right. When your kids screw up, and claim it's your fault because you weren't watching them closely enough, do you let them get away with that excuse?

LANL managemnt had ultimate responsibility at all times. If there was a fault, it lies with them, not with UC as an institution.

Anonymous said...

10/19/07 10:08 PM

Obviously, you know absolutely nothing about the NNSA contracts for UC management of LANL and LLNL. Your position that "LANL managemnt had ultimate responsibility at all times. If there was a fault, it lies with them, not with UC as an institution." is pure and unadulterated hogwash.

I refer you to the following specific language in the LLNL contract that just expired 20 days ago. In the context of the following, the "Contractor" is UC, the institution - not LLNL. It was NNSA's contractual expectation that UC would ensure that LLNL complied with the written Statement of Work. IIRC, the LANL contract language was identical to the LLNL language shown below.

My comment regarding Facility Management at LANL in the early to mid-90s is directly related to the final bullet. IMHO, UC fell flat on their face by allowing local LANL management to do what they did.


"C.001 STATEMENT OF WORK

The Contractor shall furnish intellectual leadership and the necessary personnel and management
expertise required for the management and operation of the Laboratory in the performance of
work under this Contract in accordance with its terms and the Statement of Work included as
Appendix E to this Contract. The scope of work of this Contract includes:

• Assuring the safety, reliability, and performance of the national nuclear weapons
stockpile pursuant to national security policy and Presidential and Congressional
directives;
• Providing stockpile support capabilities ranging from dismantling to remanufacturing of
the enduring stockpile;
• Ensuring the availability and safe disposition of plutonium, highly enriched uranium, and
tritium;
• Assisting in the remediation and reduction of wastes from the nuclear weapons complex;
• Helping to deter, detect, and respond to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
• Contributing to civilian and industrial needs and other defense activities by using the
scientific and technical expertise that derives from carrying out the Laboratory mission;
• The advancement of science, mathematics, and engineering education;
• Performance of technology transfer and work for others including programs designed to
enhance national competitiveness in the global economy; and
• Management and operation of the Laboratory facilities and site."


P.S. Also note the language in the the eighth bullet, which specifically mentions technology transfer and work for others, and in the sixth bullet. NNSA, at least in the context of the contract, expected LANL and LLNL to perform Work for Others, the "Others" being civilian and industrial customers and other defense organizations (e.g., DoD).

Anonymous said...

10/19/07 10:08 PM

And here's even more (from Section G)!


"(d) The University is responsible for performing agreed-upon scientific and technical
programs with the highest possible quality; fostering an environment at the Laboratory
conducive to scientific inquiry, the pursuit of new knowledge, and the development of
creative ideas related to important national interests; and managing the Laboratory in
accordance with world-class standards."

"(f) The University utilizes a variety of mechanisms to review, assess, and advise on matters
related to the operation of the DOE laboratories that it manages, including but not limited
to: the Regents’ Committee On Oversight of DOE Laboratories, a Council on National
Laboratories advisory to the President of the University, the Laboratory Senior
Management Council, the National Laboratory Coordinating Council, the Laboratory
Operations Management Council, peer reviews, and faculty initiatives under the
Academic Senate."


So where were all of the entities identified in Paragraph (f)? They couldn't all have been "out to lunch" all at the same time, or could they?

Anonymous said...

10/19/07 10:08 PM

And, yes, there's even more! As you read the following, remember that UC (defined in the contract as "The Regents of the University of California") is the "Contractor".

"(1) The Contractor shall be responsible for maintaining, as an integral part of its
organization, effective systems of management controls for both administrative
and programmatic activities. Management controls comprise the plan of
organization, methods, and procedures adopted by management to reasonably
ensure that: the mission and activities assigned to the Contractor are properly
executed; efficient and effective operations are promoted; resources are
safeguarded against waste, loss, mismanagement, unauthorized use, or
misappropriation; all encumbrances and costs that are incurred under the contract
and fees that are earned are in compliance with applicable clauses and other
current terms, conditions, and intended purposes; all collections accruing to the
Contractor in connection with the work under this contract, expenditures, and all
other transactions and assets are properly recorded, managed, and reported; and
financial, statistical, and other reports necessary to maintain accountability and
managerial control are accurate, reliable, and timely."

"(3) Such systems shall be an integral part of the Contractor's management activities,
including defining specific roles and responsibilities for each level of
management, and holding employees accountable for the adequacy of the
management systems and controls in their areas of assigned responsibility."

Notice the part about "holding employees accountable"? This would include the Laboratory Director, wouldn't you think?

Anonymous said...

10/19/07 10:08PM said: "When your kids screw up, and claim it's your fault because you weren't watching them closely enough, do you let them get away with that excuse?"

Yes Richie (Marquez), the parent IS responsible for the kid's delinquent tendancies when the parent is allowing it's brat to run rampant at all hours of the night, tossing beer cans into neighbor's yards, spray painting graffiti on the walls of businesses and robbing little old ladies of their social security checks. Absolutely the parent is responsible!...when the parent is at home watching TV, sipping on a sixpack of beer and blowing weed, eating pizza watching cable as their "little baby" creates havoc. On top of that if you're being paid $14 million a year to baby sit the brat, well then baby sit the brat damn it! UC was a pathetic excuse for a leadership role model, much less an effective overseer of an important facility like a national lab. History has proven that point quite well.