LANL Contract Goes Out For Bid After 2017

LANL News:

In a memo to his employees Dec. 17, obtained by the Los Alamos Daily Post, Director Charles McMillan explains why Los Alamos National Security, LLC did not net another year of award term on its contract: 


From: Charles F. McMillan
Date: December 17, 2015
Subject:  FY2015 NNSA Performance Review
Los Alamos National Laboratory has received its annual performance assessment from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for fiscal year 2015. The Laboratory’s specific ratings in the six performance objective categories are as follows:
  • Manage the Nuclear Weapons Mission—Very Good
  • Reduce Global Nuclear Security Threats Mission—Very Good
  • DOE and Strategic Partnership Project Mission—Excellent
  • Science, Technology, and Engineering (ST&E)—Excellent
  • Operations and Infrastructure—Satisfactory
  • Leadership—Good
Although we received high scores in four of six categories, the Laboratory needed ratings better than “Satisfactory” in all six of our performance objectives to qualify for an additional year of award term. We did not accomplish this. Nevertheless, the federal government has offered Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) an extension to the contract to manage the Laboratory beyond FY17; I will provide additional details about that at a later date after there has been more discussion between the federal government and LANS.
While I am deeply disappointed that we did not meet NNSA’s expectations in a manner sufficient to net another year of award term, I am extremely proud of our numerous accomplishments. I am pleased to note that our federal partners once again acknowledged our strong performance in the areas of mission and science. We continue to provide strong value to the national security missions, and Los Alamos continues to be regarded highly for the quality of its science.
Our federal partners made it clear that shortcomings in our work planning and work controls related to safety events, project performance, cybersecurity, the earned value management system (EVMS), and continued weaknesses in criticality safety all weighed heavily in the evaluation of our performance. These are areas we must—and will—improve going forward.
Understandably, this news is sure to generate questions for each of you. Nevertheless, I once again express my deeply held belief that the Laboratory’s greatest asset continues to be its people. As most of you probably recall, we began the year with what seemed like a slate of insurmountable challenges. Now, at the end of the year, I am humbled and inspired by the perseverance and tenacity that each of you has shown in helping restore the Laboratory’s credibility.
Among our many successes, we have made significant progress to restore our pit manufacturing capability at the Laboratory’s Plutonium Facility (PF-4), and strengthened our nuclear and high-hazard operations. Our work on the B61-12 Life Extension Project has been admirable. We took our first steps in establishing a new bridge contract that will help transition legacy cleanup operations into the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM), while at the same time leveraging our iconic scientific excellence to gain a much clearer understanding of what went wrong in our transuranic waste processes. We filled key personnel positions that will make us stronger and more agile, and we have refined our Purpose and strategic focus for the future.
I remain committed to the long-term sustainability of the Laboratory and to each of you. I am scheduling an all-employee meeting shortly after the New Year to hear and address your thoughts, concerns, and questions. Los Alamos will continue to have a valued role in protecting the nation and the world. It is incumbent upon us during the remainder of the contract period to deliver mission success through operational effectiveness and scientific excellence.

Please take the opportunity during the Winter Closure to enjoy time with your families and friends, and to rest and reflect. The New Year is sure to present new and exciting challenges, and we will rise to meet those as well. In the meantime, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you again for your hard work and continuing service to the nation.​