WASHINGTON – The union representing more than 270,000 Department of Defense workers is urging the Senate to maintain the ban on contracting out government services that are vital to military readiness.
“Congress has maintained a ban on contracting out Department of Defense jobs since fiscal 2010
because of systemic problems with the contracting out process and DoD’s failure to produce a full and meaningful inventory of its contractor workforce,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “Those issues remain in place, so there is no justifiable reason for ending the contracting ban now.”
A provision in the Senate version of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act would repeal the ban on conducting public-private contracting studies, under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76.
“Lifting the suspension of the A-76 process would have a devastating and disruptive impact on the federal civilian workforce and on military readiness,” Cox said.
A bipartisan amendment to strike the repeal of the A-76 moratorium has been introduced by Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Fourteen Senators so far have signed on as cosponsors: Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin of Maryland, Jim Inhofe and James Lankford of Oklahoma, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virgina, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Chuck Schumer of New York, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Barbara Boxer of California, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Orrin Hatch of Utah.
The amendment also would repeal a provision in the NDAA that waters down the current requirement for DoD to produce an inventory of its contractor services. By some estimates, more than 95% of contractors would be excluded from the inventory if this provision passes, which would make the A-76 moratorium moot.