(Washington)—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today praised the Senate for passing the FY06 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Bill, a piece of legislation that includes a bipartisan, government-wide privatization reform package crafted by Subcommittee Chairman Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-Mo.) and veteran Senate appropriator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).
In all federal agencies for functions of ten or more employees, the Bond-Mikulski package would ensure the following:
• Federal employees can compete in defense of their jobs before their work is given to contractors;
• Federal employees can submit their most competitive bids (Most Efficient Organization plans, etc.); and
• Contractors must at least promise savings sufficient to offset the presumed costs of conducting expensive privatization reviews.
"AFGE is pleased that the Bond-Mikulski package commands broad, bipartisan support in the Senate,” said AFGE National President John Gage. "Enactment of the package would be a big win for taxpayers and all Americans who depend on the federal government for important services because it promotes fair competition and generates actual savings.”
Gage continued, “The bipartisan Bond-Mikulski Senate language ensures that federal employees and contractors can compete in a process that ensures all federal agencies can procure the services they need at the desired levels of quality and reliability. It also ensures the best possible terms for taxpayers using a process that has been in place at the Department of Defense, the department that does three-fifths of all service contracting.”
In passing its version of the bill earlier this year, the House of Representatives rejected the Office of Management and Budget’s pro-contractor rewrite of the OMB Circular A-76 privatization process for a third consecutive year and accepted an amendment from Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) that would require the privatization process be rewritten to make it fairer to federal employees and more accountable to taxpayers.
“In requiring that contracting out decisions in all federal agencies be based on fair competition and generate actual savings, the Bond-Mikulski package is a significant attempt to address some of the bipartisan concerns about A-76 that have been raised by Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives,” said Gage.
Gage continued, “AFGE urges conferees to include the Bond-Mikulski package in the conference report to the Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Bill.”
For more information, please visit www.afge.org