Jan 18, 2008

LANL managers awarded $58 million fee

By ROGER SNODGRASS, Monitor Assistant Editor

A strong performance in handling its core nuclear missions overcame weaknesses in the areas of cybersecurity, health, safety and management to enable the partnership that runs Los Alamos National Laboratory to collect nearly 80 percent of its fee last year.

The details contained in a performance report by the federal supervisors have been withheld from public view.

Early last week, as LANL Director Michael Anastasio announced the end of the current round of workforce reductions, he referred to a performance evaluation report by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in Washington, D.C., that was due after September 2007.

NNSA had determined that the lab had met 71 percent of the objectives against which they were evaluated, Anastasio said.

The number is a key determinant in calculating the performance fee, or profit, that was awarded to Los Alamos National Security (LANS), LLC, the partnership that manages the laboratory, for its first year of responsibilities.

John Broehm, a spokesperson for NNSA in Washington, said Thursday that the FY 2007 performance evaluation report for LANL would not be made available, other than a few numbers related to the award fee.

He said it was classified, “Official Use Only,” because it contained “proprietary information.”

He did provide a partial explanation for the discrepancy between Anastasio’s claim that the laboratory had met 71 percent of its objectives and the award to LANS of 80 percent of the available fee.

Of the 200-page evaluation report for the first 18 months since LANS took over the management contract, NNSA provided a total of five numbers. Two more numbers were provided as a factor of the first set.

“The total possible fee available for Los Alamos was $73,279,996,” Broehm wrote in an e-mail in response to the call. “They received $58,208,986 or 79.4 percent of the total.”

This figure includes $21,984,404, which is the fixed portion of the contract performance fee, and not at risk.

To clarify the difference, Broehm added, “Of the remaining $51,295,996, they earned 71 percent, or $36,224,982.”

In a memo to LANL employees, Anastasio said the lab’s self-assessment “drew very similar conclusions” to the NNSA evaluation.

Anastasio concluded from the NNSA evaluation that “our strategies are sound; we have good plans in place; they remain confident that the management at the lab, including the leadership team is progressing in the right direction; we have made important progress, especially in the second half of the year; and in some areas, our progress has not met their expectations.”

Problem areas needing “significant improvement” included cyber security, safety and health, facilities and project management,” Anastasio wrote to laboratory employees at the time.

The cyber-security problem was exemplified by the breach that occurred in Oct. 2006, involving contract employee and archivist Jessica Quintana, who was sentenced to two years probation last month for having removed classified documents and electronic media from the laboratory.

During the six months of transition to leadership of the laboratory and upon assuming direct responsibility, laboratory officials repeatedly emphasized the importance of “integration” of capabilities and resources within LANL and across the weapons complex.

“It’s the toughest nut to crack at this place,” said LANL spokesman Kevin Roark Thursday. “Trying to figure out how one move affects all the other moves is difficult in any environment, but particularly difficult here.”

An article by Todd Jacobson that appeared earlier in the week in the on-line publication Weapons Complex Monitor also used the 79.4 percent figure, which was compared to a 86.7 percent average among the eight NNSA nuclear weapons sites.
The article said Savannah River Co. scored highest, garnering 99 percent of available fee.

Sandia National Laboratories, graded at 96.9 percent of fee, was awarded $23.21 million out of an available $23.96 million. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, still under the old University of California contract, received 95.1 percent, or $6.75 million out of a possible $7 million fee, according to the article.

The Monitor has submitted an official Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Energy service center in Albuquerque for the complete performance report.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

To use the metaphor from Weapons grade plutonium, and or HEU, that gives the following:

1) LANL; 79.4 % of fee, status: < (rogue).

2) LLNL; 95.1 % of fee, status: > (good).

3) SNL; 96.9 % of fee, status: > (good).

4) Savannah River; 99 % of fee, status: ≥ (very good).

5) Average; 86.7 % of fee, status: average=average, their is no such site in the NWC.

Anonymous said...

And, as we have learned at the last all-hands meeting, LANS has no intentions to "return" part of this award (in whatever way) to the employees. Sure, LANS doesn't have to but it would be a nice motivation boost for the employees if they did (talking about bonuses, stock options, ... - quite usual in the corporate world).

Anonymous said...

NNSA is St. Pete's perversion. So what else could you expect? Spread them cheeks all you taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

This is a testament to the greatness of the LANS leadership team! NOT! Thank you sir Richard. Yea right.

Anonymous said...

5:17 pm: "LANS has no intentions to "return" part of this award (in whatever way) to the employees."

What a joke! That was never in the contract and was never proposed by LANS, nor required by NNSA. When in the history of corporate America did a corproration return its government award fee to the "employees"?? Why do you think you are working for a cooperative or a fee-sharing entity? You aren't!! You work for a profit-making private organization, and the profits don't go to you; you are just an "employee at will" who can be let go at any time, especially when the company deems you a troublemaker. Wake up!

Anonymous said...

I guess Riley Bechtel can use his part of the for-profit LLC fee to go buy himself another big yacht.

Anonymous said...

"When in the history of corporate America did a corproration return its government award fee to the "employees"?? "

An old Rocky Flats guy told me that for all the time Dow ran it, all employees got a chunk of fee -- profit sharing to the lowest level, and a motivated work force. When EG&G took over (and the downward slide began) that chunk was only for EG&G management --> morale started to decline, to say the least. EG&G lost the contract I was told -- before renewal. The final manager had no profit sharing at all.

But yes, there was a time and place where some % of fee was returned to the people who made it possible -- the staff.

Anonymous said...

9:10 pm: "An old Rocky Flats guy told me that for all the time Dow ran it, all employees got a chunk of fee -- profit sharing to the lowest level, and a motivated work force. When EG&G took over (and the downward slide began) that chunk was only for EG&G management --> morale started to decline"

So the lesson is, there will be no "motivated workforce" under NNSA. If you are waiting for LANS to announce sharing of their award fee - WAKE UP!!!

Jeez, it is not going to happen, and if you still work for LANS, get out and away as quickly as you can - or else you will be buried in the unprotected workforce you joined by choice, thinking you knew what you were doing! Poor lambs to the slaughter! Please, get away!! Now!! How can anyone delude themselves that LANL will get better? It will only get worse, in every area. Save yourselves now if you can.

Anonymous said...

Give part of the fee to the employees? Are you nuts. Thus lazy, greedy, no-account slugs are the reason that we only got 79% of the fee instead of the 95% that LLNL got.

Signed: Mikey

Anonymous said...

Interesting that $73M in fee yielded 79% attainment of performance goals, while at LLNL, $7M yielded 95%. U.C. looks like a bargain...

Anonymous said...

Earning 58 million means the total cost of LANS to the LANL budget was only $150 million last year counting GRT and pension costs. The University of California fee was $8M.

$140+ million thrown away for what? A 71 percent grade? $50M extra to pay these same monkeys? WTF?

Attaboy Bodman. Way to go D'Agostino. Thanks for the leadership, St. Pete and Tom Udall.

Anonymous said...

Work as at will employee for a company without bonuses and stock options? Are you nuts? You can kiss my ass!

Signed: SSP'ed former employee

Anonymous said...

The LLNL fee will go up.
But, Sandia is a real bargain at $24M!

Anonymous said...

Yes, very disconcerting that many of us staff were part of meeting level I milestones and received no incentive other than they typical mediocre raise ~ 2%. Its not sitting well with the employees.

Anonymous said...

When you bring in WFO funding, part of it now gets taken off the top in the form of pure profits for the LLC. Staff work hard to bring in outside funding, yet the LANS corporate partners who do nothing to help bring in this WFO funding are getting financially rewarded.

Where's the profit sharing for the staff in all of these efforts? The only thing the staff sees are stagnant salaries that can't keep up with inflation.

Anonymous said...

From 1/19/08 12:29 PM: "Yes, very disconcerting that many of us staff were part of meeting level I milestones and received no incentive other than they typical mediocre raise ~ 2%. Its not sitting well with the employees."

This entire attitude of Mike's regarding not sharing any of the award fee with the folks who enabled them to get 79% of their fee is espcecially fucked up when you consider he just looked the other way and gave KSL a $41 M dollar bonus for doing absolutely nothing except sleep in their trucks and not fix anything...

Anonymous said...

And NOW is it all why DOE/NNSA harped on every little infraction? There was a DOLLAR amount attached to it all... how much of this Bechtel profit gets kicked back to the Bushco crooks?

I'm sure taxpayers are just thrilled to be shelling out tens of millions for nothing but politics.

Anonymous said...

Isn´t the figures?

1) LANS, LLC; 71 % of objectives met.

2) LANS, LLC; ≈80 % (79.4 %) of fee awarded.

Anonymous said...

Is 71% still a C or is that a D? Either way, I think they should have to take this year over again.

Anonymous said...

Even with average performance the fee is substantial. It is clear that the LANS managers and their parent companies are being enriched at the expense of the minions. Low morale and the ensuing lower productivity is another hidden cost to the taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

not gonna print my accusation of Buscho kickbacks from the rigged manager award???? AWWWWWWWW

Pinky and The Brain said...

"not gonna print my accusation of Buscho kickbacks from the rigged manager award???? AWWWWWWWW"

No comments have been rejected lately. If your comment didn't appear then send it again.

Anonymous said...

I understand LANS is fond of matching contributions……the Lab's scientific community could contribute part of their salaries to a science fund and then have LANS match it... this seems fair for all since I know the scientific community would never ask LANS to do something they wouldn’t do themselves. Just a thought…

Anonymous said...

Aren't you glad you're working so hard with no real increase in pay to help put profits into the hands of Bechtel and BWXT? Mike needs a new sports car, too, so better start looking to bring in more funding to help pay for it. Oh, and all the PADs and ADs want a big salary increase. Get to work, LANL staff! Do an excellent job and maybe they'll let you stay on the LANL payroll for another year. Then, again, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

To 1/19/08 6:39 PM - shut up you damn AD! Why don't you stop trolling and go play with your wads of bonus money that you screwed your colleagues over for ...

Anonymous said...

4:26 pm: "not gonna print my accusation of Buscho kickbacks"

Well, your use of the term "Bushco" kind of illuminates the rest (such as it is) of your story. and level of analysis. I.e., not much. You are of the "no thought", "hate Bush", "no war", Bush lied" ilk. Well, welcome to the blog, where at least some of us will try to get you to actually think. How about substantiating any of your claims with actual facts??

Anonymous said...

I smell fat 20% bonuses for the LANS upper level management at the end of this fiscal year. Not that they'll tell anyone about it, mind you. It's all "proprietary".

Anonymous said...

A rough calculation shows that a 20% bonus for the ADs will cost the workers only 10 jobs. No problem. It is in the noise. They'll never notice. Full steam ahead! Let's party!

Anonymous said...

Wow, $58 million in profit fees taken straight out of LANL's thread bare operating budget!

Well, I guess you all know what this means...

...3% reductions in salary for everybody this next year (except for you know who)!

Anonymous said...

"The Monitor has submitted an official Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Energy service center in Albuquerque for the complete performance report."

I'm sure DOE will get right on that FOIA request just as soon as they stop laughing and rolling around on the floor.

Don't let those totally blackened out redacted pages get your fingers dirty.

Anonymous said...

Just as with the proprietary LANS executive salaries, the only way that the LANS performance data will ever see the light of day is if Congress makes an official request and the document gets posted on the Committee web site. Anyone from Congress listening to this blog?