Senate Letter to OMB Outlines Grave Concerns Over Privatization of 850,000 Federal Jobs
(Washington, D.C.)—Thirty-five Senators have joined in an effort led by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) to take a strong stand against the Bush Administration’s 21st century political patronage, pro-contractor agenda.
In a letter dated Feb. 4, 2003, to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Senators express their “…deep reservations about privatizing so much of the federal workforce, especially in the absence of a reliable and comprehensive process to determine the cost, quality and scope of the tens of billions of dollars of work already performed by private contractors.”
Pointing out that OMB’s controversial revision of Circular A-76 undermines public-private competition, the Senators emphasize that the results of this new competition process will be the loss of many jobs without an opportunity for federal employees to compete and demonstrate greater efficiency. The letter outlines four guiding principles that the newly revised public-private competition does not follow and urges OMB to correct these serious defects:
We urge you to ensure that no work is privatized without giving federal employees opportunities to compete, and that federal employees are given fair opportunities to compete for new work and work currently provided by contractors.
We urge you to prevent the privatization of the work performed by federal employees without the use of a fair, cost-based public-private competition process.
We urge you to establish reliable methods to track the cost and quality of work performed by contractors.
We urge you to establish objective measures for public-private competition that ensure fair wages and benefits.
Signatories on the letter (PDF) in addition to Senator Kennedy include: Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Mark Dayton (D-MN), Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Tom Dachle (D-SD), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-AR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Kerry (D-MA), John Edwards (D-NC), Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Harry Reid (D-NV), Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).