Lab scores 89 percent in NNSA performance evaluation

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Fails to get another year added to contract

By The Staff

The Los Alamos National Laboratory received a final score of 89 percent on its annual performance evaluation from the National Nuclear Security Administration, according to documents released Friday.

But in a memo to employees, lab Director Charlie McMillan said LANL did not receive an additional year on a possible contract extension.

“Under the Prime Contract, if the lab meets certain performance standards the government may choose to award an additional year to the LANS contract. As of last year, we had earned five consecutive award terms,” McMillan wrote.

“This year, we did not meet NNSA’s criteria for award term. Under the new Performance Evaluation Plan adopted for sites across the NNSA for FY 2013, sites were required to score “Very Good” or higher on each of five performance objectives (in previous years,  4 out of 5 were required).”

The lab’s contract currently runs through FY 18.

“Award term and fee are only two measures of our success,” McMillan wrote. “I have always maintained that if we do the right thing for our government partners and the nation, fee will take care of itself. 

“It is, however, a documented assessment of how the government values our work. This year, the government raised its expectations for the entire nuclear security enterprise.”

The lab received scores of 95 percent in Science, Technology and Engineering, 91 percent in broader national security mission, 90 percent in contract leadership, 87 percent in nuclear weapons mission and 49 percent in operations and management.

“In my view, the stability and consistency afforded by a long contract term is extremely important to the success of the lab. We continue to have opportunities to earn award terms that could extend the contract to 2025.”

According to a one-page memo released by the Department of Energy, out of a possible total of $67 million in fixed and at-risk fee, NNSA awarded LANS a combined total of $59.2 million for executing more than $2 billion in work for the nation in FY 2013.

McMillan said in his memo that under the LANS, LLC structure, performance fee goes to LANS’ parent organizations:  the University of California, Bechtel National, Babcock & Wilcox, and URS Corporation. 

From there, The University of California has provided approximately $9 million of its fee to fund collaborative research between LANL and UC scientists and engineers in areas important to the laboratory. 

The four partners provided $6.7 million to fund LANL costs that cannot be billed to the government, including

More than $3 million for community and educational investments under the LANS Community Commitment Plan (CCP). 

Although the original plan expired in calendar year 2013, the LANS Board of Governors unanimously voted to extend this plan for another calendar year. 

This includes:

•  A $1 million match to employee charitable giving

•  $250,000 in matching funds for the employee scholarship fund

• Matching funds for employees donating volunteer time

• Regional economic development funds 

• Events for employee morale including this year’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

Last year, the lab received an 80 percent score but also received a contract extension thanks to a one-time waiver by then NNSA principal administrator Neile Miller.