“Why Honeywell?” That’s the lead in an article in Albuquerque Business First. The answer from DOE and NNSA was typical government poppycock (a 9-letter synonym for the 4-letter word I was really thinking):
The department was seeking to hire the applicant that provided the best value to the taxpayer…” etc.
What it really seems to boil down to is that Lockheed was becoming too greedy and sloppy, Boeing + UNM was maybe taking the job too seriously, and Honeywell was offering to manage the lab for the least amount of money (“the best value to the taxpayer”). To do that, it will have to cut costs: spend less on employee raises and benefits, less on safety, less on research, etc.
In other words, Honeywell was selected to hasten Sandia’s slide into mediocrity.