March 11, 2013
By Neal Tepel, LaborPress Publisher
WASHINGTON DC — American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. testified before a public meeting conducted March 5, 2013 by the Office of Management and Budget on the need to finally develop a methodology that would allow agencies other than the Department of Defense to in-source in order to save money.
DOD has developed its own process for cost-based insourcing, which Pentagon officials acknowledge has led to significant savings. However, non-DOD agencies have been waiting for OMB to develop its own methodology or to adapt DOD's successful methodology since the enactment of an insourcing law in 2009.
"For 16 years, during the Clinton and Bush administrations, federal employees in all agencies were indiscriminately subjected to OMB Circular A-76 privatization studies," Cox pointed out." During the Bush administration, Congress, in bipartisan fashion, shut down the A-76 process in certain functions and certain agencies before shutting it down across the entire federal government because the process had been used politically and punitively, and, as the Government Accountability Office and DOD Inspector General reported, because the process was systematically flawed. According to GAO, "Without a better system to assess performance and comprehensively track all the costs associated with competitive sourcing, (agencies) cannot reliably assess whether competitive sourcing truly provides the best deal for the taxpayer…"
"With the exception of a short period in a single agency during the Obama administration, contractors have never been subjected to such scrutiny," continued Cox. "However, before it was largely curtailed because of an arbitrary cap imposed on the size of the civilian workforce, DOD reported huge savings from insourcing, including multi-billion dollar reductions in reliance on service contractors in an astonishingly short period of time," said Cox.
There is a costing methodology that can be used for insourcing that was developed by DOD, and one which has been reaffirmed by Republicans and Democrats alike, known as the Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 09-007 on Estimating and Comparing the Full Costs of Civilian and Military Manpower and Contractor Support—and it should be adapted for insourcing by non-DOD agencies now.