Back in early 2005 when the bid preparation activities for the LANL contract were hot and heavy, NNSA's Tom D'Agostino justified the 10-fold increase in the new LANL contract award fee by stating that "increased efficiencies of operation" by the new Corporate M&O would "more than offset" the additional cost of the contract.
Now, five years later we see that the real additional cost of running LANL is on the order of $200 million more than it was back in the days of non-profit operations when the University of California ran the place for a mere $8 million per year. Since LANL is now run by a for-profit corporation, it has to pay Gross Receipt Taxes to the state of New Mexico, which accounts for most of the additional cost of operations over and above the current $79 million award fee.
Have we seen any cost savings due to increased efficiencies of operation by the new corporate M&O of LANL? Let's innumerate some of the efficiency improvements that the NNSA and LANS, LLC have brought to LANL:
- JB Weld! Stuffed into the USB ports of every lab computer in sight. In addition to making use of the computer less efficient, it voided the warranties of thousands of LANL machines.
- Ladder Training.
- Shoes that GRIP!
- LOOK out for each other!
- Tripling the number of upper-level managers.
- NNSA-mandated 5% annual staff attrition rates.
- Glovebox computing.
- Efficient loss of all email accrued during the 2008 holiday shutdown.
- Efficient (and friendly) service by the laboratory's Personal Security Group.
- Abysmal "Employment Engagement" survey results, with planned 5-month results "rollout".
- "Secret" NNSA lab Performance Reports.
- Automatic LANS, LLC annual contract renewal, in perpetuity.
- On again, off again manned guard stations.
- Ballooning overhead burden. This may have something to do with the 40 - 50 additional highly-paid top level managers who now enjoy employment at LANL. It may also be related to the increased efficiency of operations.
- A new, efficient T&E system, with blazingly fast turn-around.
Considering that one person, NNSA's Tom D'Agostino was the sole person responsible for selecting the Bechtel-led LANS, LLC to be the new LANL contractor, and
considering that the promised "efficiency improvements" never materialized, andconsidering that Mr. D'Agostino has declared that the annual NNSA Performance Evaluation awards by which NNSA judged LANS, LLC deserving of an Outstanding, 90% performance rating this year are Secret, Not For Public Viewing,
You don't suppose that there is a government/corporate cover-up in progress, do you?
Nah, me neither.