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Wednesday, January 17, 2007  
'Green' groups contend lab bid treated unfairly

By: Sam Richards
Published In: Contra Costa Times

SUBTITLE: LIVERMORE: Complaint describes 'improper and biased handling' of proposal



ARTICLE: A team of organizations that includes a Livermore-based watchdog group filed a formal protest Tuesday with the U.S. Department of Energy claiming "improper and biased handling" of their bid to manage Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.



The proposal was submitted by GREEN LLC and led by the weapons-lab watchdog groups Livermore-based Tri-Valley Citizens Against a Radioactive Environment and Nuclear Watch of New Mexico. They claim their bid was rejected without proper consideration by DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration on grounds that were "factually incorrect, unsubstantiated, biased and prejudicial, contrary to regulations and/or easily corrected."



Also submitting bids in October to operate the Livermore lab were teams led by the University of California and Bechtel National and another led by defense contractor Northrop Grumman.



The GREEN LLC group asserts its operations bid was not treated the same as the other two bids, and that instead NNSA officials "acted in a biased and prejudicial manner" in dismissing its proposal.

The GREEN LLC group seeks reinstatement as an active competitor for the lab's management contract as well as suspension of the NNSA's procurement process until the GREEN LLC group is restored as an equal bidder.



Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs, said in October that her group never expected the Energy Department to choose the GREEN LLC bid, but she said the bid was strong. She reiterated that thought Tuesday.

"It's not that our bid isn't taken seriously. ... But there's a philosophical and political difference of opinion with the (NNSA) as to the mission of the lab," Kelley said.



NNSA spokespeople in Livermore could not be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon about the protest.



UC has managed the lab since its inception.



A new operating contract for Lawrence Livermore is expected to be awarded this year.





Reach Sam Richards at srichards@cctimes.com or 925-847-2147.




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