(WASHINGTON) – Today, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) expressed strong appreciation to Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) for leading the fight to end OMB Circular A-76 studies currently being conducted by the Department of Defense (DoD). The privatization reviews started during the previous administration, but have staggered on into the Obama administration. With the strong support of House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D-MD), Representative Hinchey included in the FY10 Defense Appropriations Bill a provision that would cut off all funding for all of the “zombie” A-76 studies. The included language will protect nearly 6,000 military and civilian jobs, including at least 531 positions at the West Point Military Academy.
“There is no reason why DoD should carry out the repudiated and discredited `competitive sourcing’ agenda of the Bush Administration,” said John Gage, AFGE national president. “Representative Hinchey and Chairman Murtha are to be congratulated for their courageous leadership on this important issue.
A government-wide suspension has been imposed on all new A-76 studies because of problems in the process that have been identified by, among others, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the DoD Inspector General (IG), including
1. Inadequate systems to track costs and savings;
2. Flawed direction that excludes significant costs in order to maximize savings claims;
3. An error in the costing methodology that puts in-house workforces at a significant disadvantage;
4. Instances of actual incurred costs exceeding guesstimated savings; and
5. A disproportionate adverse impact on African-American employees.
The arguments for shutting down new A-76 studies are just as compelling for shutting down pending A-76 studies. In fact, given that the IG has reported that DoD’s use of the A-76 process in the previous administration was driven by OMB’s imposition of numerical quotas that required DoD to study for privatization certain numbers of federal employees within certain periods of time, often despite management’s opposition, the need to shut down pending A-76 studies is even more compelling.