(Washington, D.C.)—Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), issued the following statement, responding to the House Appropriations Committee’s refusal to include an anti-quota amendment in the Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill:
“The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) irresponsible and dangerous privatization quotas, if allowed to proceed, will review for outsourcing at least 425,000 federal employees and in many instances replace these public servants with ill-trained, profit-driven contractors who are more worried about next quarter’s profits than serving the public.
“These ill-conceived quotas are nothing more than an attempt to gut the civil service, replacing working and middle class Americans in the federal work force with political supporters in the business community.
“OMB’s one-size-fits-all privatization boondoggle to allow agencies to meet their mandatory quotas without public-private competition only exacerbates current contracting out problems and increases contractor waste, fraud and abuse. It gives no consideration to each agency’s needs or abilities to effectively carry out its mission. Instead, it forces agencies to needlessly contract out jobs that even managers believe should continue to be performed by reliable and experienced federal employees.
“This reckless initiative hampers federal recruitment efforts and weakens the civil service. Even the General Accounting Office’s Comptroller General and the pro-contractor Commercial Activities Panel oppose the use of outsourcing quotas. The Administration should instead focus on providing federal employees with the tools, training and technology they need to get the job done.
“AFGE applauds Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) for his efforts to include an anti-quota amendment in the Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill. The Moran Amendment would not have prevented agencies from contracting out. It would have, however, ensured that agencies are not forced to contract out work just to fulfill quotas imposed by OMB bureaucrats. AFGE urges Congress to abolish OMB’s arbitrary quotas and require public-private competition before turning federal jobs over to contractors.”