Friday, April 1, 2011 - 4:30pm


Act now to prevent a return to the wide-open outsourcing policies of the Bush and Clinton eras

We face an onslaught on three fronts:

  • The Pentagon’s “Efficiency Initiative.” After a brief period of reform, DoD has reversed itself and is now favoring its contractors over its civilian workforce, at the expense of warfighters and taxpayers.  The initiative freezes the civilian workforce at FY10 levels, allowing only “very limited exceptions.” It allows DoD to replace civilian employees with service contractors regardless of cost or the law and ensures that service contractors will continue to illegally perform inherently governmental work such as overseeing and awarding contracts. Under the policies, thousands of civilian positions could be lost, including 10,000 in the Army, 11,000 in the Air Force, 5,000 in the Navy and 3,300 in the Marine Corps. And as contractors are hired to fill these slots, the remaining federal employees will be overworked and denied promotional opportunities.
  • The Return of A-76. Some lawmakers want to bring back the infamous A-76 privatization process without correcting any of its deficiencies.  The OMB Circular A-76 process was so bad that its use was prohibited by three laws that 1) placed a moratorium on any new A-76 privatization studies by any agency; 2) banned DoD from starting any new A-76 studies until it met certain requirements; and 3) ordered DoD not to start or finish any old A-76 studies until it had complied with those requirements. Now Congress may override those laws and reinstitute A-76 privatization studies without fixing the process. Once again, it will be open season for contractors to prey on federal workers for new business and profits.
  • Insourcing Rollback. Despite the fact that the Pentagon itself has admitted that insourcing has been an effective tool in making DoD more efficient and has saved taxpayers millions of dollars, some lawmakers in Congress – under pressure from contractors – want to stop this important initiative in its tracks. By DoD’s own numbers, over 17,800 civilian positions were established in FY2010 as a result of insourcing that occurred for in order to save money or because the work was too important or sensitive to ever have been outsourced.

The legislation to enact these new contractor-friendly laws is likely to be completed in various House committees by the second week of May and on the House floor by the end of May.


1)      Contact national staff if you learn of instances where DoD is breaking the law by illegally outsourcing bargaining unit work and especially if bargaining unit employees are being displaced. Compile the information you have (which could include number and type of positions, dates for the contracting, and e-mails and other communications about the situation) and send it to Diana Price at AFGE’s Field Services and Education Department (

2)      Lobby your congressional delegation about the impact these policies will have on the federal workforce in their districts. In the information section below is a sample letter you can write to Congress. If you have questions, please contact John Threlkeld in AFGE’s Legislative Department (

3)      Learn the issues. Attached are fact-sheets, letters and articles that you can use to learn more, and educate your members, about the contracting threat to federal and DoD employees.