FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 01, 2001
Magda Lynn Seymour
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419

GAO Boosts TRAC Act While Undermining Bush's Pro-Contractor Agenda



“Nevertheless,” the report emphasizes, “there have been longstanding concerns regarding the accuracy and reliability of DoD’s reporting on the costs related to contract services—particularly that expenditures were being improperly justified and classified and accounting systems used to track expenditures were inadequate.”

“This hardly comes as a surprise to DoD civilian employees,” declared AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage. “It has been clear to anyone not on a contractor’s payroll that DoD’s service contracting crusade has nothing to do with efficiency and everything to do with showering countless tax dollars on politically well-connected contractors. The emphasis is on giving our work to contractors, not in making sure that the work is done right. I’ve said all along, this contracting out frenzy is not about saving money, it’s about moving money to corporate America in exchange for high paying jobs for bureaucrats and huge campaign contributions.”

DoD committed to Congress in 1999 that it would come up with a proposal to improve its contract reporting system. Yet, according to GAO, “DoD has not developed a proposal to revise and improve the accuracy of the reporting of contract service costs.” Moreover, GAO reports that, “DoD officials further stated that the momentum to develop a proposal to improve the reporting of contract service costs had subsided. Without improving this situation, DoD’s report on the costs of contract services will still be inaccurate and likely understate what DoD is paying for certain types of services.”

“This report couldn’t have been published at a better time,” continued Harnage. “President Bush has reportedly directed agencies to compete at least 400,000 jobs—almost twice as many jobs as officials in the previous Administration ever contemplated putting up for grabs. This takes Clinton’s disastrous experiment with contracting out and makes it twice as bad.”

“AFGE will continue to present Congressional lawmakers with a clear choice on contracting out,” concluded Harnage. “In light of this damning GAO report on DoD’s service contracting—just one of many—which path will Congress take: more and more contracting out for less and less as the Bush Administration insists or AFGE’s TRAC legislation which would require agencies to establish systems to track the contractor work force and costs? If lawmakers consider the interests of taxpayers and the millions of Americans who depend on agencies for services every day, they will surely choose to get agencies back on TRAC.”


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