March 03, 2009
Christina Erling
(202) 639-6491

AFGE Applauds White House Efforts to Stop Contracting Out Government Functions

WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama announced significant reforms in how the government does business by changing contracting methods and standards, including a call for federal employee performance of inherently governmental functions. The American Federation of Government Employees has long insisted that inherently governmental work, and closely related work of a recurring nature, should always be performed by reliable and experienced federal employees who put the public interest first.

“For too long, American taxpayers have had to foot the bill for unnecessary, and costly projects that have served only to line the pockets of contractors,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “It is clear that President Obama is taking seriously his commitment to a better, stronger government by ensuring that federal programs are not driven by private interests.”

“This administration intends to stop contracting out government services that should be performed by federal employees,” continued Gage. “We hope this is the end of the era of privatization during which agencies were forced to contract out regardless of cost or quality, and at the expense of integrity and accountability of federal programs.”

President Obama’s direction builds on Section 736 of Division D of the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that requires all agencies to establish plans to insource new and outsourced work, particularly inherently governmental work wrongly contracted out, work contracted out without competition, and work contracted out that is poorly performed.

“From our VA hospitals where former President Bush’s privatization agenda has undermined the care that our veterans receive, to the Social Security Administration where contracting out has jeopardized Americans’ privacy, AFGE embraces President Obama’s measures to reform how the government does business,” concluded Gage. “AFGE and its dedicated members stand ready to help make the government run smoothly and efficiently.”

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