Energy wants bids on Los Alamos

For the first time in 60 years, the Energy Department will seek competitive bids to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory when the University of California's contract runs out in September 2005.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham's decision to compete the contract follows a long string of management problems and security breaches, including missing computers and hard drives, that have come to light over the past few years and especially since January.

Abraham praised the university for taking steps to clean up the lab's management, including firing several top lab officials and appointing an oversight board. But the university also "bears responsibility for the systemic management failures that came to light in 2002," he wrote.

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