Fluet Partner Dave Jonas was quoted in a recent ProPublica article titled “The Government’s New Contractor to Run Los Alamos Includes the Same Manager It Effectively Fired for Safety Problems”, and in a Santa Fe New Mexican article titled “Top bidders run Los Alamos National Laboratory have checked safety records.”

The articles discuss the award of one of the largest government contracts, management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, at approximately $2.5 billion per year. The articles note that the contract has been awarded to the University of California (in one configuration or another) in spite of concerns of safety and security violations at the New Mexico lab, which is currently run by a consortium that includes the University.

Los Alamos is now operated by Los Alamos National Security (LANS), of which the University of California is the largest part of the team. The LANS contract to manage the lab runs through September of 2018, which the Department of Energy has extended for four months.

Then, management will transition to Triad National Security, a partnership between the University of California, Battelle Memorial Institute, and Texas A&M University, in addition to other smaller entities.

According to the ProPublica article, some experts have been critical about the transfer in management to Triad and predict no change in safety standards, due to University of California involvement.

However, Jonas, who formerly served as General Counsel for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), is more hopeful, given the inclusion of Battelle, which has significant experience with lab management.

“We need to give them a chance,” Jonas says in the article. “The question is then, if nothing changes, then what? And of course I don’t have an answer for that.”

Jonas has extensive experience in Department of Energy contracting matters. The initial competitions for the NNSA Laboratories were conducted during his tenure as NNSA General Counsel.

He recently served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, after he was nominated by the President to be the General Counsel for the Department of Energy.

During the presidential transition, Jonas was one of the only transition team members to serve on two transition teams: Defense and Energy, and the Energy Landing Team.

Click here to read the ProPublica article, click here to read the Santa Fe New Mexican article, and click here to read more about Jonas’ experience.