The Y-12/Pantex combined management contract has a total value exceeding $22 billion over 10 years if all options are excercised, and that alone probably justifies the losing bidders protesting the contract award (which went to the Consolidated Nuclear Security topped by Bechtel National and Lockheed Martin). But there’s a lot going on, and not all of it is contained within the protests filed with the Government Accountability Office challenging the National Nuclear Security Administration’s award to CNS.
For instance, a Virginia judge in late January issued a temporary injunction prohibiting former B&W executive (and one-time federal manager at Pantex) Dan Glenn from using “trade secrets” he obtained while working for B&W between 2009 and 2012. Todd Jacobson of Washington-based Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor has done a good bit of reporting in recent days on this complaint and the protest filed by B&W, and there is some intriguing stuff.
According to the B&W complaint filed in Circuit Court in Lynchburg, Va., last summer, Glenn resigned from B&W in March just hours before the proposals were due on the Y-12/Pantex contract. B&W alleged that Glenn signed an employment contract with one of its competitors on the big government conract and supposedly was offered the senior management post at Pantex for the proposer’s leadership team.
The complaint doesn’t specify which competitor Glenn joined, but it has been reported that Glenn is part of the CNS leadership team. His lawyer, Wayne Schrader, declined to provide specifics on Glenn’s position and referred questions to Bechtel and Lockheed Martin on that. But he said there is nothing in the injunction to prohibit Glenn from assuming a new post with CNS, if and when the protest process is completed and CNS takes over as the Y-12/Pantex managing contract. Schrader said all of the trade secrets that Glenn was ordered to return to B&W had to do with Glenn’s work as chief engineer and eventually program manager on Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group’s Medical Isotope Production System (MIPS) project.
Only one document in the materials that Glenn allegedly had in his possession after leaving B&W employment had to do with the Y-12/Pantex work, according to Schrader. The lawyer said he hadn’t actually seen that 2010 document (saying B&W declined to give him a copy) but believed it to be based on Glenn’s general knowledge of the plant operations and was not based on anything he learned while at B&W.
Jason Bohne, a spokesman for Bechtel National, would not describe Bechtel’s relationship with Glenn, give specifics of what position he may hold if CNS takes over management of Y-12/Pantex operations, or say if Bechtel is funding Glenn’s legal expenses. The only member of the CNS leadership team released publicly so far is Jim Haynes, who would be president and CEO of the new contractor organization. Haynes currently serves as senior vice president and deputy general manager at B&W Y-12, a partnership of B&W and Bechtel National.
Asked for comment on the Glenn situation, Bohne said, “This lawsuit is a matter between Dan Glenn and the Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W). We are monitoring the proceedings, but we are not a party. We never requested or received information from Mr. Glenn about B&W or its proposal for the Y-12/Pantex bid, and Mr. Glenn never offered any such information. The lawsuit has no relevance to the Y-12/Pantex contract award.”
I haven’t seen a copy of the protest filed by Nuclear Production Partners, the competing team headed by B&W, but there have been reports that at least part of the challenge may be associated with Glenn’s sharing of B&W secrets.
B&W, in its court complaint, said Glenn “participated in and was knowledgeable about (Babock and Wilcox Technical Services Group’s) planning for and development of a bid . . . to operate the Pantex/Y12 federal nuclear facilities.”
Schader, in a telephone interview, said there had been a “serious overstatement” of Glenn’s involvement or knowledge of B&W’s proposed bid on the Y-12/Pantex work.
As for the timing of his departure just before the proposal deadline, Schrader said the timing made sense because Glenn had not been offered a position on the B&W-led team’s leadership and the work on the isotopes project was coming to a close.
According to B&W’s complaint, “On March 6, 2012, while claiming to be on a personal vacation, and while employed and receiving salary from BWTSG, and while still an employee of BWTSG, Glenn traveled to Oak Ridge, TN. Glenn met with the employees of the said competitor at its facility for the purpose of assisting them in preparation of its bid in competition against B&W for the Pantex/Y12 contract.”
The proposals were due March 13. The complaint said just hours before the proposals were to be submitted, Glenn tendered his resignation to B&W electronically.
Before B&W learned of Glenn’s alleged “breach of contract” activities, the complaint says that the company attempt to get Glenn to stay with the company.
Much of the complaint deals with Glenn’s downloading of documents onto USB storage devices and reportedly keeping documents after his employment was up. His laywer, however, emphasized that virtually all of that information had to do with the isotopes program and had no relevance to Glenn’s future employment on the Y-12/Pantex contract.
In granting the preliminary injunction on Jan. 25, the Lynchburg judge said that based on testimony and evidence, it was undisputed that Glenn had in his position confidential information and trade information belonging to the Plaintiffs (B&W), including information belonging to the MIPS project.
The judge barred Glenn from taking advantage of these trade secrets “in any way, including through the commercial advantage and future employment with Lockheed Martin/Bechtel or any other LLC or joint venture in which they are members, if such employment involves in any way, is related to, or requires work in any department or unit that deals with, MIPS or any trades secrets of B&W.”
Even though Lockheed Martin and Bechtel are mentioned specifically in the injunction, Glenn’s lawyer said his client’s future role there would not relate in any way to the trade secrets he obtained or knew from working at B&W and, thus, would not prohibit him from taking a positiion with the new Y-12/Pantex contractor.
Aimee Mills, a spokeswoman for Babcock & Wilcox, declined to comment on the pending litigation or discuss Dan Glenn’s work for the company. She also declined to discuss whether Glenn’s activities were part of the company’s protest of the Y-12/Pantex management contract award.