June 21, 2006
Enid Doggett
(202) 639-6419

AFGE Helps Dozens of DoD Employees to Save Jobs at Walter Reed Medical Army Medical Center

(Washington, DC) - Calling it a “wasteful “ and illegal, John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees today applauded the effort led by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to stop the Army from carrying out an OMB Circular A-76 privatization review at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The House of Representatives included an amendment offered by Representative Norton to the FY2007 Defense Appropriations Bill to prevent the Army the review. The 350 affected employees perform base operations support services at the facility. Although a decision was made in favor of the contractor in January 2006, the award was not finalized until June, and the work is not scheduled to be formally handed over to the contractor until October. The battle now shifts to the Senate.

“Representative Norton has been tireless in leading the opposition to the Walter Reed A-76 privatization review. AFGE thanks House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Bill Young (R-FL) and Ranking Member John Murtha (D-PA) for their support for the Norton Amendment. AFGE also thanks for their help Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ike Skelton (D-MO), Jim Moran (D-VA), and Steny Hoyer (D-MD),” said National President John Gage.

AFGE maintained the Walter Reed A-76 privatization review should not be carried out because it

  1. is so old that it actually began in the Clinton Administration, in June 2000, which makes it illegal. While it was conducted, the Defense Appropriations Bills first limited the length of A-76 reviews to 48 months (through FY2003) and then to 30 months (starting in FY2004), in order to hold down the often significant costs of A-76 reviews. In this case, a decision in favor of the contractor was not made until the 68th month (January 2006).

  2. is so expensive—“extraordinary” is the word used by the Army—that the costs of conducting it are now in excess of any promised savings. Projected costs of carrying out the A-76 review, combined with costs already incurred, could be three times the savings claimed by the Army through contracting out.

  3. is so unfair to the employees that the

    • Deputy Garrison Commander asked the affected employees’ union in writing to pay for outside counsel to appeal the January 2006 decision to contract out to the Government Accountability Office (which refused to take the case after determining that he had no right to appeal the contracting out decision); and the

    • Garrison Commander wanted to conduct further research and cost comparisons three months after the January 2006 decision to contract out—but was instructed not to do so by the Army.

  4. has been so botched—the original solicitation was amended 16 times and the last such amendment included 1,500 changes—that the Army asked the Pentagon for permission to shut it down—but was mysteriously refused this request.

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