October 15, 2001
Magda Lynn Seymour
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419

Management Flexibility Act Does Nothing to Address Human Capital Crisis

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)--Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today issued the following statement regarding the Administration's Management Flexibility Act:

"The Management Flexibility Act is deceptively named. It includes a grab bag of changes which provide higher salaries and lower accountability for the most highly paid Federal Executives. It does absolutely nothing to address the federal government's human capital crisis--widely defined as the government's profound difficulty in recruiting and retaining a qualified work force to carry out the missions of federal agencies and programs. The package does absolutely nothing to address the problems with compensation, career mobility, training, or job security for the rank and file federal employees who actually provide services to the American people.

"There are some seriously dangerous proposals in this package. One of the most stunning is a proposal to allow the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to bypass the U.S. Congress by giving itself the authority to make permanent changes to Title 5 of the U.S. Code. Under the proposed legislation, OPM would yield to itself the authority to replace the statutory protections of Title 5 with "Alternative Personnel Systems"--and to declare such a replacement permanent! AFGE strongly objects to OPM's effort to usurp the authority of Congress in this manner.

"The package as a whole can best be described as a "let them eat cake" approach to the human capital challenges facing the federal government. It would bestow lavish salary increases, bonuses, accelerated leave accrual, and relaxation of accountability for Senior Executives, and provide absolutely nothing for anyone else."

The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia. To learn more about AFGE, visit

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