(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees, today, announced that it is seeking a Congressional investigation into the competitive contracting process at the Department of Labor which eliminated 250 federal jobs. Additionally, AFGE is considering filing a class action lawsuit against the Department of Labor and Secretary Elaine Chao.
The affected jobs, which were overwhelmingly held by African-American women, were eliminated after the agency awarded a contract to GAP Solutions, Inc. to perform critical administrative functions across thirteen departmental agencies in thirty-two locations.
“We are concerned that this competition has been unfairly awarded and disproportionately impacts minority employees,” Alex Bastani, president of the AFGE Local 12, which represents the affected employees said. “During Public Service Recognition Week, we celebrate the high quality of work of federal employees and their contributions to this nation. Abolishing these positions is a slap in the face to all federal workers.”
GAP Solutions, Inc. presented a private sector bid of $71 million to the Department of Labor to perform what were deemed by the administration as administrative tasks. The Department of Labor, however, excluded critical job functions and grossly undervalued others in its Performance Work Statement which serves as the basis for the private sector bid. Excluding or undervaluing work functions is a violation of the A-76 guidelines which regulate competitive outsourcing in the federal government.
“The contractor will have to perform a higher level of work than it bid to perform, increasing the actual cost of the bid. It is highly questionable whether the work in question can be performed for the amount stated in the initial bid,” added Bastani.