Share-in-savings contracting regulations at least a month away

Regulationsimplementingalawthatgivesagencieslimitedauthoritytoentershare-in-savingscontractsareexpectedtobecompletedlessthanamonthbeforethatauthorityexpires.Finalrulesforusingshare-in-savingsagreementstoprocuretechnology,asallowedbythe2002E-GovernmentAct,likelywillbeissuedinSeptember,saidDavidSafavian,administratoroftheOfficeofManagementandBudget'sOfficeofFederalProcurementPolicy.ThelawrequiredregulationstobepublishedinSeptember2003.Intheabsenceoffinalregulations,agencieshavebeenhesitanttoenterintoshare-in-savingscontracts--inwhichcompaniesagreetomakelargeupfrontinvestmentsinreturnforacutofsavingsgenerateddowntheroad--theGovernmentAccountabilityOfficefoundinarecentreport.Thisiscostingtaxpayers,saidRep.TomDavis,R-Va.,aproponentoftheprocurementtechniqueandchairmanoftheHouseGovernmentReformCommittee.ThecommitteeisexploringoptionsforextendingtheE-GovernmentActauthorities,eitherbyintroducingstand-alonelegislationorattachingaridertoalargerbill,saidDrewCrockett,aDavisspokesman.Share-in-savingscontractsare"inessence,turbochargedperformance-basedcontracts"thatreducecostsandimproveservicedelivery,DavissaidinastatementontheGAOreport."It'sextremelyfrustratingthattheregulationsstillhavenotbeenissued,"hesaid.ButSafaviansaidtheregulationsshouldnotberushed."Wehavebeencarefulindealingwiththeinnovativeandcomplexnatureofshare-in-savings,"hesaid."Ourgoalhasbeentodoitright,notsimplytodoitquickly."AgenciesusedanonlineprogrambuiltbytheGeneralServicesAdministrationtoidentify15projectsthatwouldbelikelyshare-in-savingscandidates,theGAOreport(GAO-05-736)stated.Butagencieshaveyettouseitforanyofthoseprojects,theauditorsfound.Thedifficultyofcalculatingbaselinecostsfromwhichtomeasuresavings,lackofemployeestrainedinthecontractingtechnique,andtheneedtofindmoneytocovercancellationfeesifacontracthastobeterminated,alsohavegivenagencyofficialspause,GAOstated.Thereleaseoffinalregulationscouldalleviatesomeoftheseconcerns,theauditorssaid.TheciviliananddefenseagencyacquisitioncouncilsbegandraftingaregulatorypolicyshortlyafterPresidentBushsignedtheE-GovernmentAct,andpublishedafirstdraftinOctober2003.ThecouncilsupdatedthatdraftinJuly2004andweresettoissuefinalregulationsseveralmonthsago.ButOMBdecidedtoholdofftoensurethattherulesadequatelyaddressedsuchareasasfundingofterminationcosts,retentionofthegovernment'sshareofsavingsandsubmissionofbusinesscasestojustifyuseofshare-in-savingsagreements."Effectivelyworkingthroughthesecomplexitieshastakenlongerthanexpected,"Safaviansaid.ThedelayhasbeencausedbydisputeswithinOMBover"verytechnical"issuesthatwouldaffecthowrestrictivethepolicyis,saidoneobserverwhoaskedtoremainanonymous,addingthatsomebudget-sidepeopleopposetheshare-in-savingsconceptbecauseagenciescouldeffectivelyspendmoneythathasnotbeenappropriated."Itreallyinvolveshowbroadlyornarrowlyoneinterpretsbudgetstatutes,"theobserversaid."[Safavian]wantstomove[theregulations]forwardandmovethemforwardinawaythatwillallowshare-in-savingstoproceed."It'snotsurprisingthatagencieshavesofarprovenreluctanttousethecontractvehicle,saidJacqueSimon,publicpolicydirectorfortheAmericanFederationofGovernmentEmployees."They'reextremelyexpensive,andexpensiveinawaythat'salmostcompletelyuncontrollable,"shesaid.Theunionisconcernedaboutshare-in-savingscontractsbecausetheagreementscouldbeusedtofederalemployees'disadvantageinpublic-privatecompetitions,Simonsaid.In-houseteamslacktheresourcestoofferlargeupfrontinvestmentsinreturnforfuturesavingsthatmayormaynotmaterialize,shehassaid.Thepracticealsohasbudgetaryimplications,Simonsaid."Ifanagencyisbankruptingitselfthroughoneoftheseridiculousprograms,whatanagencyhastospendonprogramsandsalariesisaffected,"sheargued."Thatwouldhaveanegativeimpactonourbargainingunits.We'reinterestedingoodgovernment."FormerOFPPadministratorAngelaStylesisalsocriticalofthecontractingvehicle.InanarticlewrittenfortheAmericanBarAssociation'sfall2004ProcurementLawyernewsletter,shearguedthatfinancingcostscouldmakeshare-in-savingsacquisitionsmuchmoreexpensivethanoutrightpurchases.But"there'snotreallythatmuchinterestoutthereanyway,"StylessaidFriday.Thearrangementcouldberiskyforbothagenciesandcontractors,shesaid."Mostagencyofficialsweinterviewedsaidanobstacle...wouldbenothavingapotentialsavingspoollargeenoughtoprovidecontractorsanappealingreturnoninvestment,"GAOnotedinitsreport.GSAandDefenseofficialsdeterminedthatthesavings-to-investmentratiowouldneedtobeatleastthreetoonetomakesucharrangementsattractive,theauditorssaid.StevenKelman,OFPPadministratorunderPresidentClintonandnowaprofessoratHarvardUniversity'sJohnF.KennedySchoolofGovernment,saidhehopesshare-in-savingswillcatchon.Suchcontractsarea"greatthingforgovernment"ifthey'reusedfornonconventionalpurchaseswheresavingsaren'tguaranteed,hesaid."I'dliketoseealessrestrictiveinterpretationofthelawconsistentwithcongressionalintent,"Kelmansaid.BillWoods,directorofacquisitionandsourcingmanagementatGAOandauthoroftherecentreport,saidhefeelsregulationscouldbewrittenthataddressagencies'concerns."Ithinkit'spossibletoworkthroughtheseissues,"hesaid.Meanwhile,OMBistalkingtoseveralagenciesaboutpotentialshare-in-savingsopportunities,Safaviansaid,andwillletthemrunpilotinitiatives"iftheysubmitbusinesscasesforapproval."http://www.dailyrepublic.com/articles/2005/08/02/letters/aletter2.txt


Letters:Tuesday,August2,2005
Legislatorsshouldsupportourveterans
It'snosecretthathealthcareforveteransisatriskbecauseofseriousunder-fundingproblems.
Earlierthissummer,welearnedthattheDepartmentofVeteransAffairs(VA)developeditsfiscal2005healthcarebudgetwithoutfactoringinthenewvetscominghomefromIraqandAfghanistan.Afteradmittingtotheshortfall,theWhiteHouseinsistedthatanadditional$975millionwouldfillagapthatmostobserversestimatedatseveralbillion.Now,justafewweekslater,theAdministrationisinfactrequestinganadditional$3billiontocovergapsinfundingforveteranshealthbenefitsfornextyear.Thisadditionalfundingwillhelpmeetimmediateneedsbutit'sfarshortofwhattheVAneedstoprovideveteranswiththequalityhealthcaretheywerepromisedanddeserve.
InVAmedicalfacilitiesthroughoutthecountry,storiesaboundoflongwaitsforappointments,equipmentjerry-riggedforpurposesotherthanitsoriginalintentandsurgeriescanceledforbudgetaryreasons.TheAdministrationisalsoturningawayvetsofmodestmeansandhasforbiddenVApersonneltopromoteitshealthcareservicestoveteransnotyetenrolledinthesystem.
Tomakemattersworse,theSenateisnowconsideringlegislationthatwilldivertalreadylimitedVAhealthcaredollarsintothehandsofoutsourcingconsultants.Asthelawnowstands,theVeteransHealthAdministration(VHA),whichoperatestheVAmedicalsystem,isprohibitedfromusingitsfundstoconductoutsourcingstudies.Thismakesgoodsensesincetheseoutsourcingstudiesusuallycarrypricetagsinthemillionsofdollars,divertingpreciousveteranshealthcaredollarsintothepocketsofwellpaidconsultants.AllthisdespitethefactthattheAdministration'sownOfficeofManagementandBudget(OMB)recentlyfoundthattheseoutsourcingstudiesdon'tsavetaxpayersmoney.Instead,theywasteitbyprovingthatcurrentemployeescandothejobmorecheaplythancontractors.
TheVAmedicalsystemisoverwhelmedwiththeinfluxofveteransfromthewarsinIraqandAfghanistan.AndtheGovernmentAccountabilityOfficesaystheVAisunable,throughlackofadequatedata,toassessitsowncapacityforthecareofanincreasingnumberofvetswhobearthescarsofPost-TraumaticStressDisorder(PTSD),whichisoccurringwithalarmingfrequencyamongourtroops.IftheAmericanpeopleallowtheSenatetomoveaheadwithitsunconscionablediversionofveterans'healthcaredollarsintothehandsofmanagementconsultants,whatarewesayingtoveteransinourstateandtherestofthenation?
Ourstate'sU.S.Senatorshaveaveryclearchoicetomake.TheycanstandwithAmerica'sveteransandopposeanydiversionofveterans'healthcarefundsforwastefuloutsourcingstudies.Or,theycanchoosetopadthepocketsofoutsourcingconsultants.Forourcountry'ssake,Ihopetheystandwithourveterans.
MarcGemignani
SuisunCity
Wherehaveallthehardwarestoresgone?
WhathappenedtoallthehardwarestoresinFairfield?Ican'tbelieveYardbirdswentoutofbusiness.ItwasalwaysbusywhenIwentthere.IwishitwouldhaverelocatedneartheCordelia-GreenValleyarea.ThenortheasternareaofFairfieldcouldhaveuseditalso.
IliveinCordeliaVillagesandfinditalongwaytopickuplumber,largebolts,plumbingandelectricalsuppliesfrom"business"Fairfield.ThisareafinallyhasagoodSafewaystoreandotherretailbusinessesalongwithCostco.Thanktheplannersforthis.Beforethis,wehadtogoto"business"Fairfieldbywayofcongestedhighwayandbackroads.Now,weneedagoodhardwarestoreinthisarea.
VacavillehasYardbirds,PacificAceHardware,HomeDepot,Lowe'sandafutureOrchardSupplyhardwarecomingin.
WhydoesVacavillehavemorethanFairfield,includinganicebowlingalley?
MikeMagee
Fairfield

http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/2175

LegislationAuthorizingCivilianBorderPatrolsIntroduced
byBrendanCoyne(bio)
Aug2-AsCongressreadiedtoheadhomeforthesummerrecess,aTexasRepublicanintroducedabillthatwouldputthecontroversialMinutemangroupandothercivilian-ledeffortstoenforceimmigrationlawsofficiallyundertheaegisofstateexecutives.
LastThursday,RepresentativeJohnCulbersonand47otherlegislatorsintroducedtheBorderProtectionPatrolAct,H.R.3622.ThemeasurewouldgivegovernorsofstatesborderingCanadaorMexicothepowertoofficiallydeputizegroupsofcitizenstohuntdownpeopleimmigratingillegally.
Collectively,thegroupswouldformtheBorderProtectionCorps,andwouldbeempoweredto"useanymeansandanyforceauthorizedbyStatelawtopreventindividualsfromunlawfullyenteringtheUnitedStates,"accordingtothelanguageofthebill.Eachstate'sCorpswouldbeundercontrolofthegovernor,who,undertheproposedlegislation,wouldbe"authorizedtocallUnitedStatescitizensintoserviceinthemilitia."Twoweeksago,CustomsandBorderProtectionCommissionerRobertC.Bonnerfloatedtheideaofdesignatinganti-immigrantvigilantegroupsan"auxiliary"armoftheBorderPatrol,anideaimmediatelydeniedbytheDepartmentofHomelandSecurity.Inastatementannouncingthebill'sintroduction,Culbersoncalledfor$6.8billioninfundsfromtheDepartmentofHomelandSecuritytobeusedfor"BorderProtectionCorpsoperationsandthecostsofdetaining,housingandtransportingforeignnationalstakenintocustodybytheCorpsorbystateandlocallawenforcement."ThebillproposesfundingtheeffortentirelywithDHSmoney.Inaddition,itcallsforallunspentDHSappropriationstobetransferredtoanaccountdesignatedforoperationsbycitizenmilitiasaftertwoyears.
Newsoftheproposedlawspurredcriticismfromanimmigrantrightsgroup,and,surprisingly,frommembersoftheMinutemanmovement,theAssociatedPressreportedFriday.RogerRocha,TexasstatedirectoroftheLeagueofUnitedLatinAmericanCitizens,toldtheAP,"Formingmilitiasorcondoningmilitiasisnottherightanswer."Healsowarnedlawmakersthattheirsupportofthemeasure"couldcriticallyjeopardizetheHispanicvote."
AnoperativewiththeMinutemanCivilDefenseCorps,GaryCole,toldtheAPthatthemeasurewouldbelike"addingmorebandagestoanalreadyfailedsystem."
TheMinutemenandsimilargroupshavebeengrowinginnumbersandspreadingthroughoutthecountry'sborderstates.Theirgrowthismeetingwithincreasingopposition.
Alsolastweek,citingracistbehaviorandalackofproperorganizationwithinthemovement,theleaderandfounderoftheTexasMinutemensteppeddown.Inresigning,prominentMinutemanBillParmleytoldreportershecouldnottolerateremarksbyothermemberssuggestingimmigrantsshouldbeshotorlefttodieinthedesert.

http://www.theconservativevoice.com/articles/article.html?id=7271

BorderPatrolSecrets
Tuesday,August02,200501:38:53AM

ByThomasJ.Fitton

AccordingtoexplosivedocumentsuncoveredbyJudicialWatch,atatimewhentheUnitedStatesfacesanillegalimmigrationcrisisandawaronterrorism,BushadministrationofficialsdirectedBorderPatrolagentstomisleadtheAmericanpeoplebywithholdinginformationaboutamarkedincreaseinillegalimmigrationcausedbyPresidentBush'simmigrationagenda.
"Donottalkaboutamnesty,increaseinapprehensions,orgivecomparisonsofpastimmigrationreformproposals."

"Donotprovidestatisticsonapprehensionspikesorpastamnestydata."

ThisiswhatBorderPatrolagentsweretoldinaremarkableJanuary2004memoobtainedbyJudicialWatchinMay2005,entitled"WhiteHouseApprovedTalkingPoints."Atthetimethememowascrafted,PresidentBushhadjustannouncedanew"temporaryworkerprogram"(toread,amnesty)forillegalimmigrants.Ifthepresident'sinitiativewastohavenegativerepercussions,Bushadministrationofficialsseeminglyreasoned,thepublicmustnotknow.

Thisishardlythestuffofopen,honestandresponsiblegovernment.
Thememo,obtainedbyJudicialWatchthroughaFreedomofInformationActlawsuit,relatestoaBorderPatrolsurveyinitiatedinJanuary2004.Followingahigh-profilespeechbythePresidentonJanuary7,wherehefloatedhisamnestyprogramforillegalimmigrants,BorderPatrolagentsbeganaskingrandomlychosenillegalscaughtattheborderiftheyweretryingtocrossbecauseofthepresident'sproposal.
InlessthanthreeweekstheBushadministrationabruptlyshutdownthesurveyandinstructedBorderPatrolagentsnottodiscussitsearlyfindingswiththepress.Thegovernment,ofcourse,neverissuedareportonthesurveyoritsfindings.

JudicialWatchtooknoteoftheBushadministration'scuriousbehavior,andfiledaFreedomofInformationActrequestwiththeDepartmentofHomelandSecuritytogettothetruthinthematter.Whenitresisted,wesued.EventuallyDHSreleasednearly1,000documents,includingtheaforementionedtalkingpointsmemo,andwewerefinallyabletofigureoutwhytheBushadministrationwasadamantaboutkeepingthesurveyssecret.
HerearesomeofthemoredisturbingsurveyfindingstheBushadministrationtriedtokeepfromyou:

1.PresidentBush's"temporaryguestworker"programwasbroadlyinterpretedasanamnestyprogrambyillegalimmigrantsfromMexico.2.EarlyresultsfromtheBorderPatrolsurveyindicatedPresidentBush'sproposaldid,infact,luregreaternumbersofillegalimmigrantstotheU.S.Approximately45%ofrespondentscrossedillegallybaseduponrumorsofaBushamnestyprogram.
3.Approximately63%receivedMexicangovernmentormediainformationsupportingthenotionofaBushadministrationamnestyprogram.
4.Whenaskediftheywouldseekamnestyifoffered,80%ofapprehendedillegalimmigrantsanswered,"yes."5.Morethan60%ofthoseapprehendedhadpreviouslyenteredtheUnitedStatesillegally,someasmanyassixtimes.
6.Approximately66%desiredtopetitionforfamilymemberstojointhemintheUnitedStates.

Thesurveydata,whencombinedwithanecdotalremarks,presentsaclearenoughpictureofthechaoticstateofournation'sbordersandthelikelydevastatingresultsofthepresident'samnestyprogram.Illegalimmigrantsarecrossingourbordersagainandagainwithoutfearofanyrepercussions.Theyintendonstayinginperpetuity,andbringingtheirfriendsandfamilieswiththem.Some,undoubtedly,areconspiringtodousharm.

InhisJanuary7speechtothenation,PresidentBushtoldtheAmericanpeoplethatfirstandforemost,"Americamustprotectitsborders."FollowingtheattacksofSeptember11,hesaid,"Thisdutyofthefederalgovernmenthasbecomeevenmoreurgent."

Whilecorrectlyidentifyingtheproblem,thepresident'ssolutionisbaffling.Howcanweensurebordersecuritywhile,atthesametime,invitingillegalimmigrantstocrossourbordersandthenrewardingthemwithsecond-classcitizenshipwhentheygethere?
TheBushadministrationstonewalledJudicialWatchincourtforalmostayeartomakesurethenegativeimpactofthepresident'sproposedamnestyprogramwouldremainawell-keptsecretfromtheAmericanpeople.BushadministrationofficialswithheldinformationfromtheAmericanpeopletheyknewwouldbeembarrassing.

Well,nowthetruthisout.
TomFittonispresidentofJudicialWatch,Inc.,a501(c)(3)non-profiteducationalfoundationthatfightsgovernmentcorruptionandjudicialabuse.ForacopyofJudicialWatch's"BorderPatrolSurveyAnalysis,"logontowww.judicialwatch.org.
http://www.bakersfield.com/24hour/politics/story/2592566p-11037828c.html

Governmentshiftingairportscreeners

ByLESLIEMILLER,AssociatedPressWriter

Posted:FridayJuly29th,2005,3:27AM
LastUpdated:FridayJuly29th,2005,6:44AM

WASHINGTON(AP)-Thegovernmentplanstoreshuffleitspassengerandbaggagescreeners,drawingprotestsfromsomeairportsslatedtoloseworkers.PittsburghandPortland,Ore.,willbeamongthosetakingthebiggesthits.LasVegas,DullesInternationalAirportinWashingtonandLosAngelesInternationalAirportwillgain,accordingtotheplan,whichwillbeimplementedinthenextcoupleofmonths.TheTransportationSecurityAdministrationdefendedthemovesThursday,sayingthegoalistobetterallocatescreenerstoensurethatairportswiththegreatestneedshaveadequatestaffs.Theoverallworkforcewillremainat45,000."Therearesomeairportsthatwebelieveareoverstaffedandsomewebelieveareunderstaffed,"TomBlank,TSA'sactingdeputyadministrator,toldtheHouseHomelandSecuritysubcommitteeoneconomicsecurity,infrastructureprotectionandcybersecurity.MarkBrewer,whoheadsT.F.GreenAirportinProvidence,R.I.,questionedwhyhisfacilitywilllose32full-timeemployees,or13percentofitsworkforce,atatimewhenrecordnumbersofpeopleareusingit."We'revery,veryconcernedaboutthereductioninstaffing,"Brewersaid.BlanksaidtheTSAconsideredmanyfactorswhenitreallocatedthescreeners.Thoseincludethenumberofcheckpoints,flightsandpassengersateachairport-allofwhichchange.TheTSA,createdaftertheSept.11attackstooverseeairportsecurity,facedearlycriticismforfailingtoproperlystaffsomemajorairports,leadingtolonglinesofpassengers.Theagencymadeitsfirstadjustmentslastyear,shiftingsomejobstobetterreflectpassengertrafficthathasreturnedtopre-Sept.11levels.AmongthehardesthitunderthenewplanisPittsburghInternationalAirport,whichwilllose122people,morethanathirdofitsscreeners.PortlandInternationalAirportinOregonwilllose168,alsoaboutathird.Someadjustmentswillbeslight.Chicago'sO'HareInternationalAirportwilldeclinefrom1,577screenersto1,571,andHartsfield-JacksoninAtlantawillgofrom1,082to1,061.McCarranInternationalAirportinLasVegas,whichoftenhassomeofthelongestwaits,willbeoneofthebiggestgainers,with247morescreeners,a30percentincrease.LosAngelesInternationalAirportwillgetanother120screenersforatotalof2,157.Congressisconsideringtrimmingscreeners.TheHousevotedtocut2,000jobsnextyear,whiletheSenateapprovedareductionof6,000.ThetwofiguresmustbereconciledbeforePresidentBushcansignareductionintolawaspartoftheHomelandSecurityspendingbill.JamesBennett,whoheadstheMetropolitanWashingtonAirportsAuthority,saidtheTSA'sabilitytoscreenpassengersandbagsalreadyisbeingpushedtothelimitbecausesomanypeopleareflying."Withoutdramaticchangestotheaviationsecuritymodelinusetoday,wewillnotbeabletomeetthedemands,"Bennettsaid.Airportshavetheoptionofusingprivatelyemployedscreeners,whichtheydidbeforetheSept.11attacks,butsofaronlytwohaveaskedtheTSAforpermissiontodoso-SiouxFallsRegionalAirportinSouthDakotaandElkoRegionalAirportinNevada.SiouxFalls'applicationwasapprovedWednesday.


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