WASHINGTON - American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage today issued the following statement in response to the White House's campaign to cut government waste:
"I applaud President Obama's announcement that he's launching a Campaign to Cut Waste. While Republicans in the House and Senate push their proposals to make the wealthiest Americans even richer at the expense of everyone else, the Obama administration's initiative to root out wasteful spending in federal departments and agencies is notable."
"Appointing Vice President Biden to lead this effort is a good step, since everyone knows that leadership starts at the top. But our employees on the front lines also must be actively involved, since they know better than anyone else where there is wasteful and unnecessary spending. I trust that the administration will actively seek the input of federal employees, labor unions and other employee organizations in this worthwhile endeavor."
"In addition, it is imperative that any effort to cut government waste look closely at federal contractors. In the Defense Department alone, spending on service contractors increased from $73 billion to $181 billion between fiscal years 2001 and 2010, while spending on civilian personnel increased from $41 billion to $69 billion during the same period. Federal employee costs are visible in the budget process and easily controlled. Unfortunately, the costs of federal contractors are not similarly transparent. Few measures would better promote efficiency than simply ensuring that agencies comply with the legal requirement to inventory their contracts so that wasteful and poorly performed contracts can be identified and corrected."