Nov 25, 2009

Comment of the Week, Day Before Thanksgiving Edition

Left earlier today on the Coverups Are Bad, Transparency is Good post:

Richardson may be unhappy about the survey results, but only because they exist and will have to be made public. History shows that he has no problem with low morale at LANL, which he single-handedly created as Energy Secretary when he raked John Browne over the coals in the wake of the Wen Ho Lee revelations.

Bill Richardson is a consummate politician, and as such will seize every opportunity to do what is best for Bill Richardson. No surprises here. Maybe he will see the poor performance of LANS as an opportunity to grab a few sound bites, publicly chastise Anastasio and LANS, and maybe even the NNSA over the morale issues they have created, and by so doing generate a few favorable vibes for himself.

Or, more likely, he will just continue to toe the party line that "NNSA is doing a terrific job, and LANS is doing a terrific job; costs are down, productivity is up, and everybody is just thrilled to be working at LANL now that the troublesome UC has been kicked out."

--Doug

103 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill Richardson probably has invited Mikey over for Thanksgiving Dinner for doing such a heckuva job!

Anonymous said...

Doug: "Or, more likely, he will just continue to toe the party line that "NNSA is doing a terrific job, and LANS is doing a terrific job; costs are down, productivity is up, and everybody is just thrilled to be working at LANL now that the troublesome UC has been kicked out."

Unfortunately for King Bill, the survey results mean that he can no longer get away with that. THAT'S why he's upset.

Doug Roberts said...

That does not necessarily follow, 3:07. I can see no reason that LANS' plan to bury the results for however long is required for them to fade from thought will not work.

I know of no state or federal regulations which mandate that corporate employee satisfaction survey results must be made public.

LANL management has a history of burying inconvenient findings for sufficiently long periods of time that the reports are no longer relevant once finally released.

We don't have to look back very far to see a prime example of this -- the facts regarding the non-existent "missing" DX CREM of 2004 were known to UC and the FBI within days of the purported event. Yet LANL, DOE, and the NNSA managed to suppress the release of the report for seven months. by that time the truly guilty had been allowed to escape scot-free.

Since Richardson came out publicly early on as a strong supporter of NNSA's decision to select LANS in 2005, I suspect he will not stir the pot now. It would not do his public image any good.

Anonymous said...

The difference with the engagement survey is it was paid for with taxpayer dollars at an institution funded with taxpayer dollars and the time employees took to respond was paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Thus, the survey results should be available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. They cannot possibly be classified as the missing barcode incident reports may have been--serving as a convenient excuse that is not available here.

Doug could file a FOIA demand for the results if he wished.

Expecting someone in management to leak them is unrealistic. In all probability even the POGO mole does not have access to them or they would be out already.

The others with access to them may well be very limited such that a leak would be easily figured out.

FOIA is the way to get these to the people who participated before the five month wash cycle has finished with them.

Doug Roberts said...

Oh, I'm not so sure, 5:12. Some of the best material for the original LTRS came from LANL staff. The story of the Am-241 smiley-face cover-up attempt of July, 2005 by UC was broken by an anonymous contributor, for example.

Further, your argument regarding tax dollars is comprised mostly of wishful thinking. LANS is a private corporation. They can do what they want regarding corporate sensitive material.

If someone wants to share the results of the morale survey (call it what you want; that's really what it is) with us, we'll share it with you. Otherwise, not.

Regarding FOIA info requests, if some of you are as interested in obtaining the survey results as you appear to be there is nothing to stop you from filing your own request.

Anonymous said...

Doug said ... "The story of the Am-241 smiley-face cover-up attempt of July, 2005 by UC was broken by an anonymous contributor, for example."

As was the Aqua Regia Scandel. This cost the country millions.

Doug Roberts said...

Not really, 6:18. The first mention of the "aqua regia" incident on the LTRS blog was this one that refers to a Roger Snodgrass story.

Late reported accident hospitalized lab worker

ROGER SNODGRASS, roger@lamonitor.com, Monitor Assistant Editor


Los Alamos National Laboratory management learned last week that two employees apparently suffered work-related injuries in June.

A lab statement on Tuesday said two postdocs had inhaled "aqua regia," a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids, on June 16, while working at the laboratory. One of them was hospitalized for six days in July.

The incident is now under investigation.

Kathy Delucas of the LANL Public Affairs Office said this morning that the laboratory could not disclose the work location or division involved in order to "maintain the integrity of the investigation."

[...]

Full Story

# posted by Doug Roberts : 8/10/2005 02:47:00 PM 1 comments

Anonymous said...

Doug said ... "The story of the Am-241 smiley-face cover-up attempt of July, 2005 by UC was broken by an anonymous contributor, for example."

As was the Aqua Regia Scandel. This cost the country millions.

11/25/09 6:18 PM

Neither of the reports, or incidents, in question was classified. Thus, there was no bar to release under FOIA. However, one cannot request info through FOIA that one is unaware of. Also, LANS will presumably try to argue that the survey is a "corporate record" not subject to FOIA, instead of a "government record" which is. I smell a lawsuit. Of course, NNSA could always overrule LANS and release the survey results. I doubt LANS would be suing NNSA.

Anonymous said...

morale SUCKS and no one pays any attention....

LANS is a disaster..... HELLO????

happy for paying $80M for nothing??

Anonymous said...

happy for paying $80M for nothing??

11/25/09 9:32 PM

If you are at work and collecting a paycheck, but think that because your morale is low you can just not do any actual work, you are first in line for the RIF that is to come. Wise up. Your manager is watching and taking notes. Don't be one of the stupid ones, if you want to keep your job. Try to make it a little harder for managers to decide who to RIF. You are making it way too easy for them.

Anonymous said...

I think you are missing the point, 10:13 PM. It is not that my morale is low and as a result I can't do any work. It is that I can't do any work and that makes my morale very low. It would be easier, I suppose, if I didn't like my job.

Incidentally, just to be perfectly clear: I'm unable to do work courtesy of all the mindnumbing rules and restriction that LANS is dumping on me in an attempt to placate NNSA.

On the subject of the top post:
This place is effectively run by professional NNSA bureaucrats and politicians. LANS is just their lackey. They say "fetch" and LANS fetches. The present state of affairs at LANL, including the results of the "morale survey" are to be expected in any organization which is run by politicians and professional bureaucrats. Richardson, presumably is a savvy man, so why would he be surprised with the results of the survey?

Anonymous said...

Yeah right, the "managers" will keep their friends, the ass kissers and the yes men. Not like your performance means anything to LANS, its not counted, your "total contribution" is, whatever the hell that is. Oh and the managers don't do the work and the workers can barely manage doing it. I've been at LANL briefly while UC was running the place, through the change over and still going. NOTHING has changed...except I have more managers.

Anonymous said...

10:13 is undoubtedly right. LANS will hand-pick the people who will be booted. You can be sure it will be based upon things like, "he took too much training", or, "she didn't wear shoes that gripped" or some equally vapid reason. People are already silently disappearing without cause.

Ironically, if LANL had a real mission, the LANS executives would be the first to go. Sadly, we don't and they won't.

Anonymous said...

11/25/09 8:14 PM

I smell a lawsuit.

Been there, done that. People who sued in both case got a windwall.

Anonymous said...

Are we sure that Richardson wasn't commenting on the community/business survey? Does anyone know what he was commenting on? Does anyone know that he was even commenting?

Anonymous said...

3:42 am: "Not like your performance means anything to LANS, its not counted, your "total contribution" is, whatever the hell that is."

You missed the meeting where the system was described and explained. You might not like the system but there is no excuse for completely misunderstanding it. Performance is half of the equation. The other half is the value of your work to the organization. If you do a really great job on something that has little value to the organization, your "total contribution" is lower. Get it?

Anonymous said...

LANS burying of the survey results is destroying any of the thin threads of trust that employees had left with LANS executive management.

I've come to the sad conclusion that LANS is the "D&D" (demolition and disposal) crew for LANL. That becomes clearer with each passing day.

Anonymous said...

10:13 is wrong once again.

11:42 is exactly right, morale is low because LANS is actively preventing the staff from being able to do a good job.

Based on the total lack of intellectual content in his posts, I suspect that 10:13 is a young teenage son of a LANS manager. Or a LANS manager. It'd be hard to tell the difference.

Anonymous said...

11:37 AM, you are hopelessly naive. "Total contribution" means whatever the hell your management thinks of you. Adjusted by whatever the hell THEIR management thinks of you. So if one time three years ago, you failed to come through on some nitwit assignment given you to by your division office, you can be dinged for it. And if you had two lousy years followed by one good one, your management chain can either conveiniently forget your two lousy years and reward you for the recent good one (if you're their drinking buddy), or conversely if they don't like you they can penalize you for your two lousy years and conveniently forget the recent successful one. Total Contribution thus becomes the biggest Friends and Family scam perpetrated on LANL staff to date.

Anonymous said...

Geez, guys. Welcome to the real world. You are judged by your last action. Get over it, that's life.

You should try leaving the artificial LANL womb for an actual workplace where you carry your own weight, or you hit the street.

Anonymous said...

7:41 do you work for Bechtel as a drone? See, the thing is that "real" (TM) professionals in "real" (TM) jobs working for "real" (TM) companies get treated...wait for it..."real" well. Once upon a time, LANL was such a "real" place and then the nit wits arrived.

Anonymous said...

2:01 pm: "11:42 is exactly right, morale is low because LANS is actively preventing the staff from being able to do a good job.

Based on the total lack of intellectual content in his posts, I suspect that 10:13 is a young teenage son of a LANS manager."

Wrong, I'm an ex-LANL manager who knows from first-hand experience what it takes to keep from getting RIFed. I don't actually care about your opinions about what is "intellectual." You can feel really warm and fuzzy when you are "intellectual", and RIFed. Good luck.

BTW, would you care to point out my "posts" other than 11/25 10:13 pm.? Good luck again.

Anonymous said...

9:03 pm: So you used to be coddled and you came to believe this was normal. Tell us what other "real world" employers you have worked for.

Anonymous said...

" Geez, guys. Welcome to the real world. You are judged by your last action. Get over it, that's life.

You should try leaving the artificial LANL womb for an actual workplace where you carry your own weight, or you hit the street.

11/26/09 7:41 PM"

7:41PM has it right LANL people could not even get a job at Starbucks.

I do not work at LANL and never would want to. I know my worth and I know the real world. I also know people in the real world. This Ph.d crap, science crap and I am so great crap does not cut it in the real world. Just ask yourself this simple question if you are so smart? How come there has never been anyone at LANL who got a job outside of LANL? Well come on think about. I know this is true because as 7.41 pm points out it is time to get off that hill. 7:41PM has got all the right facts and figures.

Anonymous said...

9:03 pm: "7:41 do you work for Bechtel as a drone?"

No, actually, I work for Bechtel as a very well-compensated LANL manager. All things considered, I believe you are the "drone."

Anonymous said...

"Wrong, I'm an ex-LANL manager who knows from first-hand experience what it takes to keep from getting RIFed."

If you really were a LANL manager, prove it! Since, as you imply, you no longer work in that capacity, you've got no reason not to reveal your name. After all, they won't fire you again, retroactively!

Looks like you've been caught bluffing. Either you are a teenager trolling around this blog (Get off daddy's computer and go do your homework!) or else you are a dimwit from NNSA (Please stop impeding my work! It would just be better for everyone if you spent your whole work day masturbating.)

Anonymous said...

I guess Mikey and gang didn't get enough to eat at the cafeteria's holiday meal and all the parties in the ad building. I can see how the fuzzy ewok might be mistaken for a LARGE cat, as sneaky as he is. Which "authorities" will be firing up their grills for some fresh elk for Thanksgiving?

>>All,
>>
>>A freshly killed Elk has been spotted at TA-51 about 30 yards
>>behind Bld 27. There are drag marks and paw prints in the dirt
>>indicating that the Elk was most likely killed by a LARGE
>>cat. Authorities have been called to remove the remains of the
>>Elk. However, the cat will most likely return when it gets
>>hungry. Please be careful.
>>
>>Have a Great Thanksgiving,
>>
>>Ronny
>>
>>
>>Ronny D. Harris
>>TSM, Division ESO & LSO
>>Earth & Environmental Sciences Division

Anonymous said...

This person sounds like someone in PADGS, since there are a whole bunch of folks in what use to be ADTR, now PADGS that are ex- managers. These ex-managers start at the PAD level (Blair & Bynum come to mind) and work there way down to the staff level 9full of ex- GLs).

Anonymous said...

11:01 The difference between you and me is that I don't blindly service the queen. Oh, and I've worked for several major universities, an oil company, a public utility, a private contractor, and what are euphemistically called, "other government agencies". Please go ask your daddy - in the name of Bechtel corporate - about the next line of BS you should be pushing here, drone.

Anonymous said...

"No, actually, I work for Bechtel as a very well-compensated LANL manager. All things considered, I believe you are the "drone."

11/26/09 11:01 PM"

I am calling bullshit on this.

Anonymous said...

I guess Mikey and gang didn't get enough to eat at the cafeteria's holiday meal and all the parties in the ad building. I can see how the fuzzy ewok might be mistaken for a LARGE cat, as sneaky as he is. Which "authorities" will be firing up their grills for some fresh elk for Thanksgiving?

>>All,
>>
>>A freshly killed Elk has been spotted at TA-51 about 30 yards
>>behind Bld 27. There are drag marks and paw prints in the dirt
>>indicating that the Elk was most likely killed by a LARGE
>>cat. Authorities have been called to remove the remains of the
>>Elk. However, the cat will most likely return when it gets
>>hungry. Please be careful.
>>

11/27/09 2:09 AM

Actually, the elk remains will be saved for the Aramark Christmas holiday meal in the cafeteria!

Anonymous said...

7:29 am: "People are already silently disappearing without cause."


This is one of the biggest stories currently happening at LANL. It deserves far more coverage.

When LANS took over, they made a huge deal over the fact that lab employees were not "at will". They've made a mockery of that promise and done it with great stealth. They don't need to plan a RIF. Their current method of achieving "attrition" is far cheaper (no severance) and allows them to target those they see as "trouble-makers".

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why some of you don't release it yourselves who have access to it. I used to work for LANL and as long as its not classified they can't do crap. Believe me I used to make a rucuss and management would back down. They really are scared of you people, BELIEVE IT....

Anonymous said...

Their current method of achieving "attrition" is far cheaper (no severance) and allows them to target those they see as "trouble-makers".

11/28/09 1:24 PM

This is very, very true.

Anonymous said...

Name one person who has "silently" disappeared. Just one? I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

Ning Li

Anonymous said...

8:06 You arrogant prick. I saw 3 people in my small, rat-infested trailer who were silently sent packing. Will I name them? Of course not. That is their private information. Did they exist? You bet your ass they did. Fuck you.

Anonymous said...

8:06, Sattelberger and Horne are two that instantly come to mind. Aside from one known death due to abusive treatment, what happpened to all the people ever involved in one of the scandels that embarassed LANL landed? Did they land well? Are they happy? Are they still at LANL?

Anonymous said...

8:06 You arrogant prick. I saw 3 people in my small, rat-infested trailer who were silently sent packing. Will I name them? Of course not. That is their private information. Did they exist? You bet your ass they did. Fuck you.

11/28/09 11:27 PM

If the criterion is "trouble maker" you sound like you're next.

Anonymous said...

Well, let's see. Sattelberger was made a Senior Fellow and remains on the LANL roster while working as "the" AD for Science at Argonne, with a joint appointment on the Northwestern faculty (previously with UNLV).

Horne was reinstated then retired with the SSP.

Next question?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the search for various chemicals in NNSA piss tests is about to expand. At LANL, the tests given to all employees follows the same guidelines as that used for LANL's HRP program. The article below involves HRP guards at the NNSA's Y-12 plant.

Be careful about what you ingest! These tests may soon become far more restrictive...

-
Munger: Will steroids be added to Oak Ridge tests?

Nov 25, 2009 - Knoxville News

An inspector general audit released last week said the government should consider adding steroids to the drug tests for workers in the Human Reliability Program, a special monitoring program for those with access to high-security weapons-making areas and special nuclear materials.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, in response to questions, said it's taking a serious look at the IG's recommendations. The NNSA oversees the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, including Y-12 in Oak Ridge, where some security police officers were fired earlier this year after testing positive for steroids on "for-cause" tests.

The audit report said the Department of Energy, of which the NNSA is a part, previously had been reluctant to expand the drug-testing program, saying it was neither necessary nor cost-effective. The IG said that attitude may have delayed the discovery of steroids use in Oak Ridge.

According to the IG report, "The discovery is significant because steroid abuse can lead to serious side effects such as aggressive behavior, mood swings, and depression, which could impair an individual's judgment and disqualify them from participation in the Reliability Program. Given the potential side effects of medications such as narcotic pain relievers, muscle relaxants and steroids, a more comprehensive listing of medications requiring work restrictions could serve to ensure that Reliability Program employees are performing their duties free from the impairing effects of certain prescription medications and other drugs."

Damien LaVera, a spokesman at NNSA headquarters in Washington, said the agency, in conjunction with DOE, is reviewing the recommendations of the report.

www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/nov/25/
will-steroids-be-added-
to-oak-ridge-drug-tests/

Anonymous said...

8:06, Sattelberger and Horne are two that instantly come to mind. Aside from one known death due to abusive treatment, what happpened to all the people ever involved in one of the scandels that embarassed LANL landed? Did they land well? Are they happy? Are they still at LANL?

11/29/09 8:34 AM

One known death from abuse? With full recognition this will rally the flame-throwers, I am aware of no public release of any clinical evidence that any abuse of any kind caused the death to which you are referring. Can you share the coroner's report? Or did Nanos use his power to influence the report and/or suppress it? Although he may very well (and probably was) treated unfairly, the individual died from a non-occupational condition. It was very unfortunate. Jeez...

Anonymous said...

12:58 pm: "One known death from abuse? With full recognition this will rally the flame-throwers, I am aware of no public release of any clinical evidence that any abuse of any kind caused the death to which you are referring."

Uh-oh. Incoming!!

Anonymous said...

Re: 8:34AM's comment,

"Aside from one known death due to abusive treatment [...]"

You know, I really have no respect whatsoever for the kind of "victim mentality" that causes some people to utter such nonsense. Management at LANL is sub-par, pathetic, even. Abusive in some cases, sure. But management abuse has killed no one at LANL.

Anonymous said...

"...steroid abuse can lead to serious side effects such as aggressive behavior, mood swings, and depression, which could impair an individual's judgment and disqualify them from participation in the Reliability Program."

Duh, and our crack psychological evaluation process is supposed to be rooting this stuff out already.

Anonymous said...

In the area I work in, about 2 out of 3 senior staff have left since LANS took over. Some retired, some started their own consulting firms, some joined ORNL, PNNL, INEL, or other federal agencies. A few actually left the country for foreign jobs. The remainder of us are either looking to leave or hunkering down the last couple of years before retirement. No one is working to develop long-term programs with growth potential. No one.

LANS has really screwed the pooch here. It's just sad that Congress and the Administration are fixated on other things and won't act to fix this travesty.

Anonymous said...

Does this local news article help explain some of the crazy posts sometimes seen on this blog?:

LINK: www.lcni5.com/cgi-bin/c2.cgi?075+article+
News+20091125170644075075004


"The other side of Los Alamos"
(Los ALamos Monitor, Nov 25 '09)

Resources for mentally ill patients aren’t always utilized

Los Alamos is a wealthy town filled with highly educated people, but that does not spare it from a representative share of mentally distressed residents, supporting the notion that there is a fine line between genius and insanity.

Local police reports are loaded with domestic disputes, assaults upon peace officers and instances of more bizarre behaviors.

..."We certainly do have people who are chronically mentally ill in this town. Some are on medication and working and doing well and others aren’t doing well or don’t recognize the problem and aren’t taking medication,”said LAFC Counseling Center Program Director Cheryl Pongratz. “Also, our community is aging and with that we have a certain amount of dementia. We do have a lot of resources available including about 25 different therapists, mostly part time and many mental health and substance abuse services pretty much for anybody no matter whether they have insurance.”

Anonymous said...

Let's see

Agressive behavior - try to find a parking space at TA3 or TA55.
Mood swings - I'm happy on weekends and not during the week.
Depression- well I am employed at LANL.

and I don't even need steroids to match all these symptoms!

Anonymous said...

It certainly explains the (rare) pro-LANS comments we saw a few posts ago, 3:32.

It also perhaps explains the "I'm a poor, little victim" comment above.

Anonymous said...

Here is the faulty logic behind the pending steroid tests. LANS is wonderful. If you work for LANS and have depression, it must be something you have done. Since steroids can cause depression, your depression must be caused by steroids. We'll test you and send you packing without probable cause or due process. Problem solved. Anyone else depressed? I thought not. LANS is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

11/29/09 1:28 PM wrote ... Abusive in some cases, sure. But management abuse has killed no one at LANL.

Hmmm, how about my friend Tony Beugelsdijk (at the hands of Neu) and we all know about Todd Kauppila (at the hands of Seestrom and Nanos).

Anonymous said...

From 4:09 PM ... LANS is wonderful. If you work for LANS and have depression, it must be something you have done.

And if you are depressed and bring it into the office, you better just leave. We don't need your negativity and we don't need youo around. Fuck off and just end it soon - leave. LANS will do just fine without you. Ta, ta.

Anonymous said...

Security already tests for steroids but only if you are employed by SOC.

Anonymous said...

We don't need not stinking survey. We have 7:02 to tell us how to feel about LANS.

Anonymous said...

It's just sad that Congress and the Administration are fixated on other things and won't act to fix this travesty.

11/29/09 2:53 PM

So how many times, and how forcefully, have you written to your congressional delegation about this?

Anonymous said...

Are we back to leftist groupthink again???

No, it´s 24/7/365!!!

Anonymous said...

Are we back to leftist groupthink again???

No, it´s 24/7/365!!!

11/29/09 8:41 PM

Care to provide a reference as to WTF you are talking about?

Anonymous said...

8:41 PM: "Are we back to leftist groupthink again??? No, it´s 24/7/365!!!"

9:45 PM: "Care to provide a reference as to WTF you are talking about?"


Hey, 9:45pm, it looks like crazy poster 8:41 pm needs to look up that article in the Monitor about the rampant mental illness in Los Alamos!

Anonymous said...

"..They say "fetch" and LANS fetches.."

This is by design.

It is the control Congressional detractors, Bodman and NNSA wanted when they replaced a public service organization with a 'for-profit' contractor.

Public service is replaced with profit.

Neither Congress nor NNSA can successfully manage the labs without a talented intervenor that mitigates the dumber directives. Now that UC is gone, the full weight of NNSA's "bright ideas" avalanche falls unchecked onto workers.

It is hard on those who had served the national interest to watch the decline.

Anonymous said...

"...you are first in line for the RIF that is to come. Wise up. Your manager is watching and taking notes..."

You miss the point,

it is a open question for NNSA and Congress, can a low morale weapons laboratory succeed?

More importantly, does President O'bama and the current Congressional leadership care?

Anonymous said...

it is a open question for NNSA and Congress, can a low morale weapons laboratory succeed?

More importantly, does President O'bama and the current Congressional leadership care?

11/30/09 11:14 AM

No, and No. However, both questions (and their answers) are irrelevant to those employees who are RIFed. (By the way, I don't think the President is Irish.)

Anonymous said...

So, as long as we don't have the survey results yet, can we make some up please? I'll start. So we have:
16. I am committed to the success of the laboratory: 91%
38. I believe that action will be taken on the results of this survey: 17%
39. I know the proper channels for reporting concerns about security: 94%
42. I am satisfied with my overall compensation, including benefits: 62%

My predictions (using a highly non-linear model including the moon-phases, concentration of radio-isotopes in drinking water and tidal height):
26. I plan to be working here five years from now: 35%
28. My morale at work is good: 21%

Anonymous said...

5:00 PM,

Right, because nobody ever died of a stroke in Los Alamos before LANS came on board.

Anonymous said...

Why do people keep saying that U of C is gone? They are an intregal part of this SNAFU they call LANS. In fact, if I remember, they actually get two votes at the board meetings compared to the vote each of the other partners get.

Doug Roberts said...

5:31,

I was being facetious with my

" Or, more likely, he will just continue to toe the party line that "NNSA is doing a terrific job, and LANS is doing a terrific job; costs are down, productivity is up, and everybody is just thrilled to be working at LANL now that the troublesome UC has been kicked out."

party line comment. We know UC is still here, their influence is felt.

Anonymous said...

We know UC is still here, their influence is felt.

11/30/09 7:05 PM

Oh really? Exactly how?

Doug Roberts said...

8:07,

If, by no other way, than by the fact that 1/2 of the annual LANS award fee goes directly to UC.

Next question?

Anonymous said...

I am retired and from the sounds of things much happier. I am amazed that it has taken this for you all to figure out what the "only" driver is for LANS. That's right if you can't deposit or spend it they don't care about it. I think this last year we saw that same attitude with the banking and investment industry. How much has that cost us? You will notice it is still not fixed. Steel yourself for the party have just started. See you on the other side!

Anonymous said...

8:07 PM

Also read the UC Regents minutes of Sept 17, 2009 (be warned I almost threw up my dinner)

http://www.universityofcalifornia.
edu/regents/minutes/2009/doe9.pdf

“Committee Chair [and UC Regent] Pattiz reported on the last meeting of the Board of Governors (BOG) of the limited liability corporations (LLCs) for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). For the past several months, the BOG has been involved in a self-evaluation of the operations of the laboratories. This evaluation is an outgrowth of the creation of the LLCs two to three years ago. The Committee Chair noted that the evaluation included feedback from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) – both of which fund the laboratories. In addition, it featured input from BOG members, committee members, and a wide variety of people within the organizations. The evaluation sought to assess how the new structure, which has been controversial, is working.

...Committee Chair Pattiz emphasized that no questions were ever raised regarding the quality of the scientific work conducted by the laboratories. The LLC, with companies like Bechtel Corporation, the Babcock & Wilcox Company, and Washington Group International, won the bidding process. The University retained the majority of the members of the BOG and also has the right to appoint its chair. He remarked that he is currently the chair of the Board of Governors.

Committee Chair Pattiz recounted that the internal review gave positive marks from DOE and NNSA because issues such as on-the-job injuries – items that could be calculated and put on a spreadsheet – demonstrated marked improvement. The discussion on science was focused on how the nation is looking for world-class scientific solutions that are uniquely available at the laboratories and that go far beyond nuclear stockpile stewardship. He remarked that some of the partners believe that nuclear weaponry and nuclear stockpile stewardship are not growth industries and that the laboratories need to find other ways to contribute to national security that are more in keeping with twentyfirst century issues…

The Committee Chair [Pattiz] said that the BOG is developing strategies to secure additional funding from NNSA to compensate for the cutbacks that have affected all government agencies. He noted that he was very pleased with the tone that LLC’s Board is starting to take; the active involvement of both the University and all of its partners will result in new developments for the laboratories in the years ahead.”

And on page 4...

"[LANS/LLNS] Committee Chair Pattiz remarked that the LLC structure has provided a significant increase in fee income for the University and that the new income is to be used for scientific purposes, for research, for outreach, and to build a closer relationship between the laboratories and the campuses. Through the laboratories, UC is providing a public service that no other university in the country can provide. Furthermore, he stated, the University is benefiting from an improved fee structure that allows it to foster more scientific and research endeavors that strengthen the relationships between the laboratories and the campuses."

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for that timely post, 9:00 AM.

LANL under LANS appears to be doomed. Do you really need any more evidence than this?:

-
* "Committee Chair Pattiz emphasized that no questions were ever raised regarding the quality of the scientific work conducted by the laboratories. The LLC, with companies like Bechtel Corporation, the Babcock & Wilcox Company, and Washington Group International, won the bidding process."


* "Committee Chair Pattiz recounted that the internal review gave positive marks from DOE and NNSA because issues such as on-the-job injuries – items that could be calculated and put on a spreadsheet – demonstrated marked improvement."


* "[LANS/LLNS] Committee Chair Pattiz remarked that the LLC structure has provided a significant increase in fee income for the University..."
-

I agree, 9am, this is truly sickening to read! Time to inspect your work shoes and make sure they they can really GRIP(!) if you intend on staying aboard this sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

Has Mr. Pattiz, the head of both the LANS and LLNS Board of Governors, even bothered to visit LANL? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

"Has Mr. Pattiz, the head of both the LANS and LLNS Board of Governors, even bothered to visit LANL? I don't think so."

Why should he? The LLC contracts were all about guaranteeing revenue streams, not science.

Anonymous said...

The Board of Governors is clearly out of touch on every issue except for the (obscene) increase in their fee.

Will someone please explain how it served the Nation to increase the LANL management fee from $8M/year under UC to $79M/year under UC and Bechtel? No manager is paid out of that pot, they all draw salaries from the LANL operating budget so the fee is pure profit. Pure profit for no investment on the part of the LLC partners, no investment whatsoever.

Add almost $100M in other additional costs (GRT, Pension, etc.) and the total rises to a staggering $200M/year wasted at LANL with a similar amount wasted at LLNL.

Seriously, the LANS/LLNS contracts are criminal waste, fraud, and abuse.

John M. Pedicini said...

Mr. Pattiz has spent considerable time at LANL.

John M. Pedicini

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Pattiz has spent considerable time at LANL.

John M. Pedicini


John, then he's just another worthless bean-counting UC money-grubbing NNSA lackey corporate shill. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Any time an AD (or higher) gives a summary of their directorate, they point to accomplishments of employees in the directorate. Instead of presenting the employees' successes, I challenge them to present their own successes - how have THEY, the AD's, made a positive difference in their directorates. What transpired, that would not have transpired without their presence.

Anonymous said...

12/1/09 7:18 PM

simply excellent 7:18. COW time!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pattiz has spent considerable time at LANL.

John M. Pedicini


Oh, that's good to know.

I deduce then that Mr. Pattiz is fully aware of what's been happening here lately. Therefore he, and UC in general, are consciously participating in the wholesale destruction of science at LANL, just keeping quiet about it. Just like we suspected. Doug was right on the money.

Let's be blunt: LANL, a leading national defense lab, has been sold off by the UC regents for $30 million in annual reward fee. Notice, that it's not the UC students who get the fee either, the poor folks just got slammed with a 30% increase in their tuition by the same regents. No, the fee goes to provide cushy salaries for a large team of UC bureaucrats.

Sorry, Mr. Pattiz, but all this is simply repugnant.

Anonymous said...

7:18 pm: You completely misunderstand the role of management, especially upper management. How does a manager take credit for the work of his/her subordinates, when these subordinates are obviously the only ones doing any "work"? The success of the organization is the only real measure of management effectiveness or competence. Sometimes organizational success can occur in the face of lousy management, but it is rare.

Anonymous said...

"What transpired, that would not have transpired without their [AD's] presence." - 7:18 PM

What transpired? That's easy to answer...lots of crazy, new Work Free Safety Zone (WFSZ) policies and piles upon piles of CYA paperwork generated to placate NNSA and earn their fat 20% AD bonuses.

Next question?

Anonymous said...

So, Mr. Pattiz has visited LANL "many times", and yet it seems he apparently has no clue regarding what this lab is truly about other than spread sheets with safety stats.

I'm curious... does he also wear shoes that GRIP(!)?

Anonymous said...

Anyone see Mikey's latest memo with its limp attempt to raise employee morale? How in hell did this guy ever get the Director's position? He's a sick joke!

Anonymous said...

Has Mr. Pattiz actually spent time with groups of LANL employees, not management?

How about he hold a "town hall" meeting with just employees. Maybe one with retirees. And not recording devices so people can really speak their minds.

Anonymous said...

Yet another politician is added to the NNSA's rapidly growing stable of well connected politicos.

This one comes from Baltimore, home of some of the worst political corruption in America. Way to go, Tom D'Agostino. Heckavajob!:


Clarence Bishop Named NNSA Director of Congressional Affairs

Tuesday, Dec 01, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced Clarence T. Bishop as Director of Congressional, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs.

Bishop most recently served as Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development under Gov. Martin O’Malley. He also served four years as O’Malley’s chief of staff when O’Malley was Mayor of Baltimore.

...“We are delighted to welcome such an established, accomplished public servant to our team,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “Mr. Bishop’s record speaks for itself, and he will be a valuable asset as we strive to implement President Obama’s historic nuclear security agenda.”

Bishop holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in urban planning and public policy from Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Source: NNSA

Anonymous said...

"...(Clarence) Bishop holds... a master’s degree in urban planning"


Isn't "urban planning" something you do *AFTER* the nukes have been fired off and leveled a city?

NNSA has got it backwards, as usual. I'm sure Mr. Bishop will fit in very well with the current NNSA HQ crowd. The fact that he comes from the corrupt political venue of Baltimore is just icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pattiz has spent considerable time at LANL.

John M. Pedicini

John has all these important visitors personally visit him and only. It all about grooming his ego, the hell with the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pattiz has spent considerable time at LANL.

John M. Pedicini

12/1/09 5:51 PM

Honestly, then how can he say that LANS is doing a great job? Were his visits arranged so that he only met Fellows and other toadies who say that things are great?

Anonymous said...

John has an ego? Who would have guessed?

Anonymous said...

John has an ego? Who would have guessed?

12/2/09 7:13 PM

John does not have an ego. However, he is married to one.

Anonymous said...

John does not have an ego. However, he is married to one.

12/2/09 9:32 PM


Didn't his wife once sue LANL in an ugly spat about 15 years ago? Is that what you speak of, 9:32?

Anonymous said...

John does not have an ego. However, he is married to one.

12/2/09 9:32 PM


Didn't his wife once sue LANL in an ugly spat about 15 years ago? Is that what you speak of, 9:32?

12/3/09 10:34 AM

John cried for years about his treatment and threatened X-Division Management that he was going to leave, take his brain, and go to Livermore. He posted nasty unprofessional letters on his door. This all ended when he became a Lab Fellow. Must be nice to be in protected status. All he does now is personally meet with UC, National Academy, and NNSA dignitaries to show them how smart he is.

Anonymous said...

5:18 PM is correct. I have not seen John do a damn thing to help anyone else, speak up for anyone else, or do anything that did not benefit John. Wow, sounds a lot like Dave Clark and Alan Bishop ...

Anonymous said...

Since the 1940's, LANL (or LASL) has been characterized by big, forceful personalities. The difference is that those bigshots actually collaborated with the rest of the team to advance the science and get the job done. That spirit is now gone. It left with John Browne. I can't imagine the anguish John is feeling about the institution he was forced to leave.

Anonymous said...

Fellows rule!

Anonymous said...

I see we're circling the wagons and pointing inward again. How sad.

Anonymous said...

8:14 Well, given the fact that many of us have also been forced to leave LANL (and LASL) behind, I *CAN* imagine the anguish that John Browne feels. I feel it too - every time an AD takes credit for work they cannot even pronounce, every time I put on shoes that grip, every time I fill out travel for the 10th time, every time I see some poor sap scapegoated to save a LANS manager etc. etc. etc. It is a daily cross to carry so that Bechtel can get it's cut and D'ag can claim he is doing his job.

Anonymous said...

to 7:13, 9:32, 10:34, 5:18, 7:02:

I've known both of the Pedicinis for over 30 years and I've never seen either of them do anything other than to tell the truth. But then, there are some people who can't handle that....

Anonymous said...

3:42 pm: "I've known both of the Pedicinis for over 30 years and I've never seen either of them do anything other than to tell the truth."

So? Does truth-telling mean one is not an egomaniac? Does truth-telling absolve one of all kinds of self-serving, self-centered actions and attitudes?

Anonymous said...

8:10,

Yes, most often it does.

Anonymous said...

8:10, a worthy question. I reckon I'd like to hear Pedicini's version of the truth, over just about any of our senior managers'.

Anonymous said...

I know I trust John over Mike, or Charley, or Brett, or Susan, or just about any of the LANS insiders.

Anonymous said...

Fellows rule!

12/3/09 8:19 PM

Toni forgot to sign her name ...

Anonymous said...

Actually, the anti-Pedicini folks should shut their holes. At least John isn't afraid to (a) speak his mind even if the opinion is not what people want to hear and (b) he signs his name when he posts on the blog. There is a reason why LANL higher-ups want to keep him around ... he knows what he is talking about even if they don't want to hear him say it.