(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees today thanked Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and her colleagues for the objections they raised in a Sept. 21 letter to the Office of Management and Budget’s Deputy Director for Management about the Human Resources Line of Business initiative.
“Under HRLOB, an agency that wants more money to perform human resources functions will be expected by OMB to transfer at least core functions to a handful of federal and contractor shared service centers,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “The assumption of HRLOB is that agencies don’t really have any unique human resources needs and that savings are possible through consolidation.
“HRLOB's 'competitive framework' repudiates OMB's own May 2003 rewrite of its Circular A-76 privatization process. Contrary to OMB’s expectations, federal employees historically have won more than 80 percent of the competitions conducted under the revised A-76 circular. By encouraging agencies to opt out of A-76 for OMB-required reviews of human resources functions, OMB appears to be using the HRLOB to give to contractors work that they probably would not win under A-76.”
Among the most objectionable features of the HRLOB’s competitive framework:
“AFGE applauds Sen. Mikulski,” said Gage, “and thanks the other signatories of the letter—Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), the Senate’s two other leaders on anti-privatization issues; House Education and Labor Chairman George Miller, (D-Calif.); House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.); House Government Oversight and Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.); House Civil Service Subcommittee Chairman Danny Davis (D-Ill.); House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who have led the opposition to privatization in that chamber; and House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.). Durbin and Serrano chair the funding subcommittees that have jurisdiction over OMB and the Office of Personnel Management, the two agencies responsible for the increasingly controversial HRLOB initiative.”