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TheStreet Open House

OMB Makes Initial Progress Toward Better Sequestration Guidance

"AFGE appreciates that OMB has taken initial steps toward making its sequestration guidance less one-sided against federal employees and more consistent with longstanding prohibitions against illegal service contracting," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. "Agencies must finally begin imposing sequestration sacrifices on service contractors, particularly DoD."

OMB should follow up on this new guidance by setting savings goals for agencies to achieve in reducing spending on service contracts so that contracting officers can overcome the inevitable resistance from entrenched and connected service contractors. Despite the new guidance, agencies still have more freedom to enter into contracts than to hire federal employees in order to perform new work. This means that agencies often will outsource new work, even when it can be performed more efficiently in-house or includes functions too sensitive to privatize.

Agencies must finally begin imposing sequestration sacrifices on service contractors, particularly DoD. In a Feb. 20 press conference, a reporter doggedly attempted to induce the Pentagon's comptroller to say how sequestration would impact the $200 billion the Pentagon spends annually on service contracts. He responded that the department was still developing plans and reviewing everything the department buys from the private sector, saying that "it takes a lot of work" to review the department's 2,500 investment programs to determine how the department can accommodate sequestration cuts.  

"That response was completely unsatisfactory," Cox said. "DoD is preparing to extensively furlough almost the entire workforce, including many of whom live paycheck to paycheck.  It is unconscionable that the Pentagon is prepared to slash the income of its workforce by one-fifth before it has even asked service contractors to begin making sacrifices."

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia .

For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter .

SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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