The Defense Department is looking for ways to cut cost, but it appears that the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is not.
DeCA recently fired a poor-performing contractor that operated delis and bakeries in 22 commissaries in nine states, but the agency is looking to hire another contractor by June without even considering doing it in-house even though it’s a known fact that federal employees can do the work at a lower cost, often by two to three times. It makes little sense to automatically turn to a new contractor.
DeCA is also violating a federal law that requires agencies to consider bringing the work back in-house when the contractor has performed poorly or is charging the government way too much. AFGE is asking the agency to provide the union with documentation that shows DeCA has fulfilled this statutory requirement, including the results of a cost comparison required under DoD policy.
“Contractors are a more lucrative employer for senior civilian and military officials when they retire, but in every other respect, it is clear that civilian personnel are the cost-efficient alternative,” AFGE said in a letter to DeCA Store Operations Executive Director Keith Hagenbuch.