AFGE Applauds Sen. Durbin and Rep. Serrano for Leadership in Reforming Privatization
(WASHINGTON) – AFGE, today, applauded Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Jose Serrano (D-NY) for their strong leadership in making the federal privatization process more accountable to taxpayers. Sen. Durbin and Rep. Serrano, who chair the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Financial Affairs, included language in the Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Services Appropriations bill imposing a temporary suspension of the deeply flawed Circular A-76 privatization process.
“The A-76 process is clearly broken,” said John Gage AFGE national president. “The provisions introduced by Sen. Durbin and Rep. Serrano will end years of privatization studies that never saved taxpayer money and were skewed to promote the use of contractors over federal employees.”
In addition to temporarily suspending new A-76 privatization reviews, the provisions require agencies to determine the size of their contractor workforces, develop policies to ensure federal employees perform new work and outsourced work, and prohibit agencies, except the Department of Defense, from contracting out functions performed by ten or fewer employees prior to a public-private competition.
In two reports released last year by the Government Accountability Office, (GAO), it was discovered that savings from contracting out were frequently overstated and that the A-76 process often hid underlying costs associated with its implementation. In examinations at the Department of Labor and the Forest Service, GAO reported that both agencies had underestimated the costs and overestimated the savings of contracting out.
“AFGE applauds Sen. Durbin and Rep. Serrano for defending the quality of service and the dignity of the work provided by federal employees,” added Gage.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.