DFAS Misspends Taxpayer Dollars, Dismantles Its Own Workforce

Categories: DoD

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is misspending taxpayer money by hiring military reservists, who are 30-40% more expensive than civilians, to fill vacancies in the agency’s civilian workforce. Under the so-called Personnel Force Innovation (PFI) program, which should be renamed the Personnel Force Dismantling program, DFAS systematically dismantles the professional, experienced civilian workforce by imposing a personnel ceiling and filling vacancies with expensive military reservists who have little or no experience in the work that DFAS does.

DFAS has so far filled nearly 100 civilian positions in Indianapolis, IN; Columbus, OH; Arlington, VA; Fort Knox, KY; and Rome, NY with military reservists. This is a glaring misuse of workforces as military reservists’ main role is to be available to fight when there’s a war. It’s a major waste of time and money training them in military skills and providing them with military benefits if they are to be doing civilian work.

The DFAS workforce faces an even more serious threat—the Army Financial Management Optimization (AFMO) plan, which would shift the Army’s financial management functions to military personnel.  Thanks to the AFGE DFAS Council, this effort has been scoped back to a pilot project. 

However, it is feared that the Army has already decided that the pilot project will be a success and thus a favorable precedent for going forward with the component’s original scheme to pull out of DFAS—which would kill 600 civilian jobs in Rome, another 1,800 in Indianapolis, and more jobs in Limestone, ME. 

As many AFGE members in the Department of Defense will recall, DFAS was created in order to reduce costs through consolidation into one organization of financial management functions in all components and agencies.  If the Army is successful, the other components are also likely to pull out of DFAS. 

The AFGE DFAS Council descended upon Washington, D.C., this week to meet with their members of Congress and discuss ways to stop this misspending and mismanagement.  PFI and AFMO are just two examples of the Pentagon’s personnel ceiling-driven, job killing policy that has seen experienced, less expensive civilians being replaced by military personnel and contractors.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (IN) personally committed to AFGE National Vice President Arnold Scott (6th District), DFAS Council President Troy Marshal, DFAS Council Vice President Ed Abounader, and several AFGE activists that he will insist DFAS continue to use reliable and experienced civilian employees.  Now, AFGE DFAS Locals will seek to get similar commitments from their lawmakers in the House and Senate.

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