I worked at an NRC institute from 2002-2011. It was a fantastic place though it had faults. Each Institute was a mini-fiefdom in which the respective Director Generals held all the power. A lot of blue sky research was done, however in reality a lot of it would be considered "mental masturbation"; papers were published but never referenced. Or papers would be whipped up so people could attend conferences in nice locales . For too long NRC acted like an academic environment where money didn't matter: there was always a new bag of money next year.
Many Institutes had overlapping work with other Institutes but didn't collaborate. In fact the way the IT infrastructure developed was also very silo'd, it was next to impossible to work with other sites because of various local policies.
NRC has needed a good kick in the ass for a number of years. Previous presidents talked the talk but did nothing. In the end the Old Boys Club endured. The current president has been given his orders and is executing them. He's collapsing ~15 years of pain into ~3. Much of the blame for this should be put on the previous presidents.
That all said, I'm not a big fan of everything that is going on, but if you look at this as a soft reset for NRC, things will get better.
Bottom line: if anyone at NRC says things were Just Fine before, they are delusional or lying.