FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 09, 2001
Magda Lynn Seymour
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419

Pentagon Admits AFGE is Right

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—The Pentagon has finally admitted that the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is right—almost all Department of Defense (DoD) work is given to contractors without any public-private competition whatsoever. In a December 22, 2000, letter to Congress signed by Jacques Gansler, the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, it was admitted that:



“(C)ontracts resulting from a cost comparison performed in accordance with OMB Circular A-76 represent an extremely small portion of the total number of service contracts awarded by the Department during fiscal year 1999 (less than 1 percent). Further, these contracts represent a very small portion of the total dollars awarded by DoD to private sector contractors during fiscal year 1999.”



“It is imperative that everyone interested in federal service contracting take note of this extraordinary admission,” declared AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage. “The Pentagon clearly sought to avoid publicizing its admission by submitting the letter at a time when—because of the holidays and the presidential transition—it would receive little attention.”



Harnage pointed out that according to the Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG), “From FY 1992 through FY 1999, DoD procurement of services increased from $39.9 billion to $51.8 billion annually. The largest sub-category of contracts for services was for professional, administrative and management support services, valued at $10 billion. Spending in this sub-category increased by 54 percent between 1992 and 1999.”



“At the same time the Pentagon undertook a drastic and unprecedented increase in service contracting, federal employees were almost never given the chance to compete in defense of their jobs and for work which they could have performed,” Harnage added. “Despite all the talk from the Pentagon about reforms and efficiencies, the guiding principle of the last eight years has been replacing federal employees with contractors—regardless of the consequences for taxpayers and warfighters.”



Harnage emphasized that prompt passage of AFGE’s Truthfulness, Responsibility, and Accountability in Contracting (TRAC) Act is critical. “The TRAC Act would require all agencies, including DoD, to subject work to public-private competition before it is given to contractors.”



Giving credit to the work of Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J), Harnage concluded, “If these Senators had not inserted this report requirement (106-53) in the FY 2000 Defense Appropriations Bill, at the request of AFGE, DoD would never have been forced to come clean about its anti-federal employee, anti-taxpayer and anti-warfighter contracting out policy.”

 

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