July 18, 2008
Enid Doggett
(202) 639-6419

TSA/Lockheed Contract a Waste of Taxpayer Money, says AFGE

(WASHINGTON)- The American Federation of Government Employees expressed outrage at a Transportation Security Administration agreement with Lockheed Martin for the contractor to provide TSA with human resource functions. AFGE National President John Gage today issued the following statement:

There is absolutely no reason to contract out this work. TSA already has fully functional human resources. Why would they pay a contractor to do work that already is being done in-house? This is a waste of taxpayer money that will serve only to deplete an already strained workforce that has the lowest morale and highest turnover in the federal government.

For example, we have heard from our Transportation Security Officer (TSO) members that contract human resource employees are inefficiently handling workers’ compensation claims and other worker complaints. These TSOs allege that contractors are delaying processing by demanding additional information that is unnecessary for filing, losing paperwork, and even in some cases simply not processing the paperwork.

The human resources support contract with Lockheed Martin also appears to contradict TSA's assertions to Congress and TSOs that Lockheed no longer would be involved with TSO training instruction and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) tests due to TSO complaints about Lockheed's competency and unfairness. Lockheed Martin personnel allegedly and routinely failed TSOs on impromptu SOP tests and refused to tell them exactly why they failed.

There also appears to be a conflict of interest stemming from any involvement by Lockheed Martin in TSA personnel matters. AFGE believes that Lockheed Martin would like to take over the duties of the federalized screener workforce, and so stands to gain by demonstrating that the federalization of screening duties has been a failure.

With the $1.2 billion it will pay Lockheed Martin, TSA could better have spent the money for new technology, better training and a full staff of TSOs.

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