July 6, 2001

Science, operations rated excellent

The Laboratory maintained an overall performance rating of a high "excellent" from the Department of Energy and showed significant improvement in scores for NIF, Laboratory Management, and Safeguards and Security.

The annual assessment, covering the period Oct. 1, 1999 to Sept. 30, 2000, includes appraisal of the Lab’s performance in science and technology (S&T) as well as administration and operations (A&O). This comprehensive evaluation system, along with annually negotiated performance standards, is defined in the University of California’s contract with the DOE.

As defined in the contract, the Lab can score up to 1,000 points: 500 for science and technology and 500 for administration and operations. For fiscal year 2000, LLNL scored 448.2 or 89.6 percent in science and technology, and 449.6 or 89.9 percent in administration and operations — for an overall rating of 898 points or 89.8 percent. Both of the scores represent increases over last year’s scores.

Laboratory science and technology received an overall rating of "excellent," the same as last year and just shy of the "outstanding" rating (or 90.6 percent) for 1998. The directorates’ science and technology assessment is comprised of a self-assessment, peer reviews conducted by directorate review committees, an annual self-assessment prepared by the UC President’s Council on the National Laboratories and validation and rating by DOE/NNSA program managers.

"The Laboratory continues to prove that it’s a national leader in science and technology. These scores reflect the great progress we’re making in meeting the challenges of the Laboratory’s rapidly evolving national security missions. In particular, we are pleased with the significant improvement in the grade for the National Ignition Facility, which reflects DOE’s confidence in NIF management and the progress made in its construction and design," said Jeff Wadsworth, deputy director for Science and Technology. "We can take a great deal of pride in our scientific and programmatic successes as well as in the administration and operations support to Laboratory missions."

According to John Gilpin, director of Contract Management, the score for A&O is the highest since the rating system went into effect under terms of the performance based UC/DOE contract in 1992. These scores demonstrate the Lab-wide commitment to performance improvement and show how our partnership with DOE and UC continues to meet management challenges of the last couple of years.

"For administration and operations, the appraisal provides a valuable tool for measuring Lab progress in relation to the performance goals set out in our contract," Gilpin said. "We’re pleased with the continued progress we’ve made in terms of providing more efficient and cost-effective mission support to the Lab programs. Additionally, the assessment helps us identify areas for improvement.

"The Laboratory has made great strides in effectively managing administration and operations costs and dealing with increasing external requirements since the ‘results-oriented, performance-based’ contract with DOE went into effect," according to Gilpin. "A number of Lab support organizations have dramatically improved their productivity and performance ratings and are considered DOE best practices or have received external awards and honors. At the same time, in many cases, they have significantly reduced costs and organizational staffing, making more funds available for our core activities in science and technology."