AFGE Praises Bi-Partisan Effort to Pass Van Hollen Amendment
(Washington) - The American Federation of Government Employees today praised action by House Republicans and Democrats for passage of the Van Hollen Amendment. The amendment, sponsored by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) would put the brakes on plans by the Office of Management to rewrite its A-76 Circular for a second year in a row.
"We hope passage of this amendment will help revise the current privatization process along the lines already laid down by the Congress for the Department of Defense - that certainly would make the process more fair," said John Gage, AFGE President." The House of Representatives already voted to make revisions with respect to the privatization process for the Department of Defense through the FY05 Defense Appropriations Conference Report and the FY05 Defense Authorization Bill.
AFGE further outlined the revisions it would like to see made in the current privatization process including:
· Insurance that federal employees are allowed to compete in defense of their jobs and submit their most competitive bids before their work is contracted out,
· A requirement that contractors promise savings sufficient to pay for the often significant costs of conducting privatization reviews,
· The exclusion of health care costs from the cost comparison process when contractors make contributions towards their employees health insurance which is less than that which is required of the Congress for the federal government,
· Insurance that federal employees have the same rights to appeal agencies' contracting out decisions to independent third parties such as the General Accounting Office and the Court of Federal Claims
· That federal employees be allowed to compete against contractors for new work and outsourced work.
· Establishment of an inventory of the cost and scope of work performed by contractors, and
· That the Inspectors General to determine if agencies have sufficient staff and systems in place to conduct all of the privatization reviews required by the Office of Management and Budget and oversee any resulting service contracts.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.