(WASHINGTON) – The nation's largest union of federal employees, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today praised Congress for the FY09 Financial Services Appropriations Bill which includes a well deserved pay raise for federal workers and a one year suspension of the new A-76 privatization studies in all federal agencies.
AFGE National President John Gage commended the Committee for giving federal workers “the help they need in times with skyrocketing gas prices and an unwieldy cost of living. This pay raise will help workers stay afloat in a sinking economy.”
“AFGE is also profoundly grateful to Chairman Serrano for including a provision in the FY09 Financial Services Appropriations Bill that would suspend all new OMB Circular A-76 privatization studies in all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), through FY09,” declared National President John Gage. “This suspension follows the three-year suspension of all new A-76 studies in DoD that was included in the House’s version of the FY09 Defense Authorization Bill.
“There are a multitude of rationales for suspending new studies conducted pursuant to the costly and controversial A-76 process,” continued Gage. “But, first and foremost, there is the prohibition included in last year’s bill [Section 739(d)] that prevented the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from directing or requiring any agency to begin, continue, or finish an A-76 study, and that prevented any agency from following OMB’s A-76-related requirement and direction. Not even contractors would dispute the point that OMB political appointees have imposed numerical privatization quotas on all agencies—large numbers of federal employees who must be reviewed for privatization within certain periods of time—and that all agencies are graded for compliance with the quotas (and, if necessary, punished) by OMB in the budget process. In fact, OMB political appointees have established numerical privatization quotas for some agencies as far out as 2015.
“OMB never bothered to issue guidance to implement Section 739(d). Indeed, OMB never encouraged agencies to solicit or revisit internal requests for relief from the onerous A-76 quotas. Instead, it was business as usual, despite a clear warning from Chairman Serrano earlier in the year,” said Gage. “The failure to follow a comparable provision in last year’s Defense Authorization Bill was a significant factor in the inclusion of a three-year A-76 suspension in this year’s Defense Authorization Bill.”