(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today issued the following statement in response to Senate action preventing inclusion of the Kennedy Amendment in the Defense Authorization bill:
Why the Kennedy Amendment is Needed
“Work performed by civilian employees is outsourced without public-private competition; federal employees are rarely allowed to compete for new work and almost never for work currently in the private sector; the Department of Defense (DoD) is unable to track the cost and size of its contractor work force; and DoD civilian employees are still managed by arbitrary personnel ceilings.
What the Kennedy Amendment Would Have Done
“The Kennedy Amendment was a sensible and flexible approach to ensure real public-private competition. DoD civilian employees would have had opportunities to compete in defense of their own jobs, for a fraction of new work, and for contractor work to the extent contractors compete for civilian employees’ work.
“This amendment was extremely flexible. It would have allowed DoD to waive the competition requirements for national security and business reasons, allowed DoD to use any cost-based competition process and contained no temporary suspension on new service contracting or any other enforcement mechanism.
“AFGE thanks Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) for his efforts to include this critically-important amendment in the Senate Defense Authorization bill. This amendment was not only good for the taxpayers and our warfighters, it was also a fair compromise for federal employees. We are very proud that the margin of defeat was just a single vote. Clearly, we have laid a foundation for success.
“AFGE will not be defeated in its efforts to stop the wholesale privatization of defense programs and make the contracting process more accountable to the taxpayers. We will continue our efforts until we succeed in passing legislative language that is fair to all—not just to contractors.”