|Thursday, June 28, 2001
AFSCME Backs TRAC
Legislation Before Congress Would Institute Reasonable
For Federal Agencies Contracting Out Public
WASHINGTON — The American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, offered its strong support for
legislation being debated by Congress today that would keep federal
agencies from outsourcing public services until they institute
objective and fair procedures for examining the costs and benefits
to the public of taking such action.
Sponsored by Maryland Rep. Albert Wynn, H.R. 721, the
Truthfulness, Responsibility and Accountability in Contracting
(TRAC) Act would also create a level playing field for federal
employees to compete directly with private contractors. It comes as
private contract employees at the federal level now outnumber civil
servants by three to one, while the Bush administration proposes
contracting out at least 425,000 additional federal jobs over the
next four years.
"American taxpayers want their government to be efficient and
accountable, but they also know that blindly contracting out vital
government services is not the solution," said Gerald W. McEntee,
president of AFSCME, which represents over 1.3 million members
nationwide including 10,000 federal employees. "They want their tax
dollars to pay for quality government services, not for private
Based on a nationwide scientific poll conducted last year for
AFSCME, the privatization of public services is supported by just
one-third of American voters, and the majority of respondents —
regardless of party affiliation — worry about a loss of
accountability and fairness that may result from privatization. In
fact, when states and localities have tried privatization, the
result has often been serious conflicts of interest, poor and more
expensive service delivery, and a lack of accountability.
"AFSCME believes labor-management partnerships to improve the
delivery of public services are the way to go, but if the private
sector is going to be allowed to compete for these federal
contracts, public employees should have a fair shot at proving that
they can do it better," Mr. McEntee added.
The U.S. House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology and
Procurement Policy is holding a hearing today on the TRAC Act at
2:00 p.m., Rm. 2154 Rayburn Bldg.
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American Federation of State, County
1625 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Telephone (202) 429-1130
Fax (202) 429-1120