Sunday, January 21, 2007


Limited Life Corporation

An Anonymous reader asks: "Could the LLC become to mean Limited Life Corporation?"

My canine intuition tells me that if the rumors indicating John Mitchell, that late but not lamented former Deputy Director of LANL did indeed get caught en flagrante delicto with classified material on his personal PC, then LANS, LLC stands a better than average chance at quickly becoming the latest former contractor of LANL. Perhaps the forthcoming set of hearings on LANL to be held by Congressmen Dingell and Stupak will shed light on this.

-Pat, The Dog

If LANS LLC is given the boot and there is a recompeting of the contract... can LANL employees say - ESOP... as in Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)... for those not familiar; Employee-owned corporations are corporations owned in whole or in part by their employees. Employees are usually given a share of the corporation after a certain length of employment or they can buy shares at any time. A corporation owned entirely by its employees (a worker cooperative) will not, therefore, have its shares sold on public stock markets. Employee-owned corporations often adopt profit sharing where the profits of the corporation are shared with the employees. These types of corporations also often have boards of directors elected directly by the employees... btw, SAIC is an employee owned company...
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The hearings will not be held seaperatly, Stupak's committe is holding the hearings under the full committe leadership of John Dingell who chairs the Energy and Commercce committe, Stupak's is a sub-committe ....under Dingell...all going to be one hearing under the Enery and Commerce Committe....

It’s extremely naïve to expect that Mr. Stupak’s hearings will “shed light” on LANL’s true problems. If you look back at the last several years, this guy and his friends in Congress have waged a vicious war on LANL. The only time Mr. Stupak sounded happy about things at LANL was when he heard about Nanos’ wave of terror. What tells you that Mr. Stupak is interested in anything like fixing LANL? LANL is in the hole largely because of politicians like Mr. Stupak, whose crusades in the name of security have nothing to do with the long term security of this Nation, and everything to do with scoring easy political points.
Has anyone else noticed how quiet the LANL PR machine has been lately? There is big news brewing -- a(nother) congressional hearing on LANL security infarctions; the bizarre sudden departure of former Bechtel VP, former LANL deputy Mitchell; large budget shortfall, etc.

That other shoe is going to make one hell of a 'thump' when it finally falls, but in the mean time don't we deserve to be treated to the dulcet tones of more of Roark's sweet lies?

Man, this place really is going to hell if we can't even rely on the entertainment that LANL PA's spin machine usually provides.
SAIC went public in October '06. SAI on the NYSE.

Anyway, to think LANL could be run as a profitable business is amusing to say the least. The thought of LANL really competing with, say LLNL, Sandia and others for funding, is, shall we say, interesting.

It looks like around 45% (give or take a bit) of the folks at LANL are funded off of program taxes in one form or another, including G&A, org support, LDRD, and recharge.

I would suggest looking at the corresponding figures for other "corporations" before making a judgment on whether LANL, as currently structured, would be a profitable business model.
"LANL is in the hole largely because of politicians like Mr. Stupak, whose crusades in the name of security have nothing to do with the long term security of this Nation, and everything to do with scoring easy political points."

I was with you up until the "LANL is in the hole" part.

LANL is in the hole because LANL management has been pretty much complely incompetent for many years.

Having the incompetent DOE for a customer has not helped much either, but take a look in a mirror, pal.

There, you have just met LANL's worst enemy. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
Regarding Kevin "his lips are moving" Roark, and the recent unnatural silence from PA: could it be that we are seeing history in the making? Is it possible that for the first time ever LANL management, even with the able assistance of their PA wonks, that they can't figure out how to lie their collective way out of their present pickle?

Where's Baghdad Bob when you really need him?
Let's not forget that Roark (and therefore LANL management) have already stated their position regarding the real reason for Mitchell's sudden departure. Quoth the Roark:

Los Alamos spokesman Kevin Roark said, however, that "John Mitchell's retirement has absolutely no connection to any security issues at the Laboratory."

What was management thinking, that they could cover up the alleged security violation? If the rumors about Mitchell turn out to be true, what are Mikey and the boys going to do then? Claim that they hadn't known about it? I don't think that will fly very far with Stupak and Dingell.
1/22/07 - 8:36

An estimate at the close of FY06 for the percentage of FTEs charging the tax generated accounts mentioned was about 50%, i.e., half the FTEs. A bit higher than 45%. It will be interesting to see what it is this FY.
Poster 4:06 PM, I would guess that around 65% of LANL workers are now living off the various tax rates, overhead charges, LDRD, worker displacement funds, etc. The solution is easy, though. We'll just have to tack on a higher tax rate to all incoming funds. That's been the trend for several years now. It's been LANL management's quick and easy solution. Of course, it also ends up eating the seed corn, but what does management care? Right now, I suspect LANL management is trying desperately to hide the true scope of our poor financial situation.

Too many people want to go for a free ride on the LANL wagon and very few are willing to help pull it by bringing in new funding. I sometimes wonder -- exactly where do many of the people at LANL think the money for their salaries comes from? Do they think the US Government Men-in-Black come by and just dump the cash into LANL's lap. Maybe the NNSA Fairy puts the money under our pillows at night?

With our ultra-high FTE costs, it quickly become an almost hopeless tasks to bring in any new funding. Many TSMs who use to bring in funds are now without funding and are despondent over this situation. In most cases, these are people who don't like being a burden on their fellow staff members. But, with our ultra-high FTE costs, new policy burdens, and lack of meaningful support for the "support" side, these formerly productive TSMs will have only a slight chance of finding any new funding sources. They'll also be the first people to go when the RIF finally hits.

Soon enough, the LANL wagon will slowly grind to a halt. When it does, you can expect many of those who have been riding comfortable in the back of the wagon for a very long time to get mad as hell and demand that something be done about it. Perhaps the only solution at this time is to open the tailgate and begin to lighten the load. The first ones out the tailgate should probably come from the ranks of upper management and their bloated support staffs. Of course, that will never happen. If someone has a better solution, please let us all know about it. I getting mighty embarrassed asking sponsors to fork over $400 K per year to pay for my time. At that rate, just taking a crap on the toilet costs about $50 per flush.
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