WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees commends House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Bill Young and Ranking Member Pete Visclosky for expressing concerns in a Sept. 11 letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel about the Department of Defense’s plan to arbitrarily reduce headquarters spending and staffing by 20%.
Specifically, the veteran lawmakers urged the Pentagon to:
1. Scrap its planned arbitrary reductions in favor of “a review of continued relevance of functions and costs,” which would be consistent with law and the department’s own guidance;
2. Cut certain functions and certain contracts entirely, rather than impose arbitrary, across-the-board cuts to all functions; and
3. Ensure that cuts take into account the cost and size of the contractor workforce in headquarters, as opposed to the department’s one-sided focus on reducing civilian and military personnel, and also reduce reliance contractors who are carrying out illegal or risky contracts.
Chairman Young and Ranking Member Visclosky concluded their letter by urging Hagel to ensure that “the Review subject all three workforces to scrutiny, be based on accurate information, and comply with legal and administrative requirements for workforce management.” Here is a link to the letter: http://afgeunionblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/secretary-hagel.pdf
“Secretary Hagel should closely follow this wise, bipartisan advice,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
On Sept. 12, AFGE sent a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh that raised similar questions about his own effort to reduce headquarters spending and staff by an even more arbitrary 25%. Here is a link to AFGE’s letter: http://afgeunionblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/letter-to-sec-mchugh-on-army-hqs-cuts.pdf.