(WASHINGTON) – The nation's largest union of federal employees, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today commended the Senate Appropriations Committee for its mark up of the FY09 Financial Services Appropriations Bill which includes a one year suspension of new A-76 privatization studies in all federal agencies.
“AFGE is also profoundly grateful to Senate Financial Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-IL) for including a provision in the FY09 Financial Services Appropriations Bill that would suspend all new OMB Circular A-76 privatization studies in all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), through FY09,” declared AFGE National President John Gage.
The House Appropriations Committee approved an identical government-wide suspension of new A-76 activity in their version of the Financial Services Appropriations Bill. The government-wide suspension in the House and Senate Financial Services Appropriations Bills follows the three-year suspension of all new A-76 studies in DoD that was included in the House’s version of the FY09 Defense Authorization Bill.
“There are a multitude of rationales for suspending new studies conducted pursuant to the costly and controversial A-76 process,” continued Gage. “But, first and foremost, there is the prohibition included in last year’s bill [Section 739(d)] that prevented the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from directing or requiring any agency to begin, continue, or finish an A-76 study, and that prevented any agency from following OMB’s A-76-related requirement and direction. Not even contractors would dispute the point that OMB political appointees have imposed numerical privatization quotas on all agencies—large numbers of federal employees who must be reviewed for privatization within certain periods of time—and that all agencies are graded for compliance with the quotas (and, if necessary, punished) by OMB in the budget process. In fact, OMB political appointees have established numerical privatization quotas for some agencies as far out as 2015.
“OMB never bothered to issue guidance to implement Section 739(d). Indeed, OMB never encouraged agencies to solicit or revisit internal requests for relief from the onerous A-76 quotas. Instead, it was business as usual. The failure to follow a comparable provision in last year’s Defense Authorization Bill was a significant factor in the inclusion of a three-year A-76 suspension in this year’s Defense Authorization Bill,” concluded Gage.