Lab earns overall grade of outstanding for science, management, operations

Feb. 15, 2002

Lab earns overall grade of outstanding for science, management, operations


For the first time ever, the Laboratory has achieved an overall rating of “outstanding,” as assessed by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The annual assessment, covering the period Oct. 1, 2000, to Sept. 30, 2001, includes appraisals of the Lab’s performance
in three areas — institutional Laboratory management, science and technology (S&T) and operations and administration (O&A). This comprehensive evaluation, along with annually negotiated performance standards, is defined in Appendix F of the UC contract with DOE.

Appendix F covers the annually required assessment of the Lab in these three areas. Performance expectations are negotiated annually between NNSA, UC and LLNL. The Lab can score up to 1,000 points under Appendix F: 100 for Lab management, 500 for S&T, and 400 for O&A. For fiscal year 2001, LLNL scored 91.1 points or 91.1 percent in Lab management; 469 or 93.8 percent in S&T, and 362 or 90.5 percent in O&A — for an overall rating of 922 points or 92.2 percent. A score over 90 points qualifies the Lab for an “outstanding” rating.

The performance-based management (PBM) process covered under Appendix F was first added to the UC/DOE contract in 1992. The UC labs were the first within the DOE complex to implement PBM with its focus on self-assessment, peer review and performance results rather than audit and compliance. PBM has since been embraced as a DOE-wide policy and is utilized throughout the contractor community.

The Lab management category is an overarching assessment of the Director’s Office that covers strategic planning, establishing and communicating performance expectations, internal and external communications, asset and infrastructure management, accountability and commitment, and community relations. The NNSA rating for Lab management increased from a high “excellent” last year to “outstanding” this year. The NNSA lauded LLNL management for the significant progress made on the National Ignition Facility, scientific accomplishments in support of our NNSA missions, effective communications with NNSA/DOE, enhancements to safeguards and security operations, continued improvements in Integrated Safety Management, and an effective community relations programs.

Laboratory S&T received an overall rating of “outstanding,” an increase from last year’s high “excellent.” Each scientific directorate’s S&T assessment is comprised of a self-assessment, peer reviews conducted by directorate review committees, an annual assessment prepared by the UC President’s Council on the National Laboratories, and validation and rating by DOE/NNSA program managers.

“This year’s scores reflect the critical role the Lab continues to play in the changing demands of national security,” said Jeff Wadsworth, deputy director for Science & Technology. “We continue to prove ourselves as a world leader in science and technology, with the highest standards in operations and management as well. Every single employee contributed to these outcomes, and we can all be proud of what the Lab has achieved.”
Wadsworth added that recognition for NNSA-related missions was particularly satisfying, as it was a major focus of Lab goals for the year.

According to John Gilpin, director of Contract Management, the score for O&A is the highest since the rating system went into effect under terms of the performance-based UC/DOE contract in 1992.

“This is the first year we’ve gotten ‘outstanding’ ratings on both sides of the house. Our scores were good last year, but they’re even better now,” said Gilpin. “This demonstrates the professionalism and commitment of all employees and managers to accomplishing missions and achieving long-term performance improvement.”

Gilpin said the scores also reflect an excellent working partnership with the UC and DOE, helping to identify O&A management priorities and desired outcomes, and ultimately, enhance performance and operational effectiveness.

This NNSA “outstanding” performance rating under the annual Appendix F evaluation follows on the heels of a positive “pass” rating of the UC labs (Livermore and Los Alamos) in the first one of two annual reviews under Appendix O of the UC/DOE contract.

Appendix O was added to the contract with the January 2001 modification. It includes five new program performance initiatives that require UC to demonstrate improved management oversight of the labs and for the labs to improve performance in management accountability; safeguards and security management; facilities safety; critical skills, knowledge and technical capabilities; and project management and construction project management. For several initiatives, UC was required by DOE to retain subcontractors to assist in the work, providing an outside assessment of work at the labs and identifying opportunities for improvement.

With a two-year timeline for performance improvement, Appendix O has the highest management attention at NNSA, UC and the labs. The UC labs’ performance success against the Appendix O initiatives is assessed by NNSA on a “pass/fail” basis for the five initiatives in FY2001 and 2002. The FY2001 rating by NNSA, completed in October 2001, was “pass” for all five initiatives. Appendix O is proceeding on track for FY2002, and the next performance review with senior management will be held this month. UC and the Labs are working with NNSA to bring Appendix O to successful closure and to streamline the Appendix F process for FY2003.

For the full report with contract, see the Website at http://www-r.llnl.gov/OCM/FY01_ AppF/OAK _AppF_2001.pdf .