March 12, 2009
Christina Erling
Enid Doggett

President Obama Signs Bill into Law to Stop A-76 Privatization Studies Through FY2009

WASHINGTON - Today, President Obama signed into law the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act which will suspend all new OMB Circular A-76 studies through FY2009, thanks to Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Jose Serrano (D-NY), the chairs of the Senate and House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittees, and the lobbying efforts of AFGE. The A-76 process had been severely criticized by the Government Accountability Office in two 2008 reports for, in many instances, costing more than it saved and for its disproportionately adverse impact on female and African-American federal employees.

The Omnibus Appropriations Act also requires all agencies except the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish plans to insource new and outsourced work, particularly inherently governmental work wrongly contracted out, work contracted out without competition, and work contracted out that is poorly performed. Thanks to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO), such a provision was established for DoD in the FY2008 Defense Authorization Bill. The Army, for example, reports insourcing, thanks to the Skelton provision, almost 1,400 jobs "at an average savings of $50 million per year, totaling $299 million over the program years." The Omnibus Appropriations Act also closes a loophole in all agencies except for DoD that allowed for smaller functions performed by federal employees to be contracted out without public-private competition.

“ These are historic achievements for federal employees and AFGE," declared AFGE National President John Gage. "We are immensely grateful to Chairmen Serrano and Durbin, as well as Chairman Skelton, for establishing a strong foundation on which to build during the Obama Administration a sourcing process that is more fair to federal employees and more accountable to taxpayers. Now is the time for federal employees and AFGE to work with the leaders in the legislative and executive branches to clean up the mess left behind by the previous administration."

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