Just when I thought the Bush admin couldn't suck any worse..

20 billion to rebuild Iraq. But nothing for these poor people.

Where is the heart in the Bush admin? The don’t have one do they.

Other than “federal policies that promote the employment of people with disabilities.”

I don’t see any harm in investigating some cost saving options. No one has lost his or her job. We have no idea if they’re going to lose their job. I think your outrage is a little premature at this point.

Plus the Navy is investigating thousands of job, they’re not specifically targeting the mentally handicapped or anything like that.

Heck, as far as I know they’re trying to save money so they can relocate it to even more needy people.

(If I’m missing something critical from the link I’m apologize, but I’m not filling out a survey.)

I find it telling that your political philosophy is based on feelings.

i’m glad to see that this is in the Pit, (opposed to elsewhere).

Hey now, I thought we all learned from the Clinton administration that sucking is best left to interns.

The idea of outsourcing isn’t new. It’s a favorite tool of politicians who can then point to a “reduction” in government staff, thus satisfying the baying hounds of the right who insist on smaller government. In reality, nothing is saved; only the numbers change (many of the civil servants who are “RIFfed” are then hired by the contracting agencies, if only temporarily as a sop to the agency). Easily as much, if not more, money is spent on contracting out services.

Companies bid the work, the low bidder is selected, and then the fun begins. The supervisors listed in the proposals are replaced by unqualified personnel who are paid less than would be required for fully qualified personnel. Qualified worker-bees are replaced by minimum-wage workers. Parts and supplies are obtained from the cheapest possible sources and are often defective or substandard.

All of the above results in increased profit margin for the successful bidder, and the screwing of the taxpayer continues unabated. Outsourcing of government functions has been on the books for some time, but has not been fully implemented precisely because it is common knowledge that abuses abound. The Bush administration has merely ramped up the requirements in order to give Americans a false sense of economy.

My wife has been the unwilling recipient of this concept in her job as a property manager. She now has to deal with a contractor who (a) doesn’t answer the phone, (b) doesn’t show up on time, © doesn’t hire qualified personnel, (d) bills for every nickel and dime he considers “outside” the contract terms. She also has to deal with the reluctance or refusal of the contracting officer (who resides in another state) to take action against contractors who don’t fulfill the terms of the contract.

This all results in facilities that are poorly maintained and in “deferred maintenance” (definition: neglect) that must be addressed by whatever poor dumb bastard succeeds the current dumb bastard running the show in Washington.

On the next board software update, they should include an animation of Yakko Warner popping up and saying, “It’s that time again!” whenever someone opens a Reeder thread.

I wonder how many analysts and consultants spent two years studying the jobs done by these 21 workers, and how much the analysts et al. were paid? Would the savings from outsourcing offset their fees?

That’s that “compassionate conservatism” for you…let’s find the weakest most defenseless people we can fuck and fuck them good.

You know, if you have a problem with my social life you can just come right out and tell me.

My first experience with outsourcing came last year when the forms 1099-G, (Income From Certain Government Payments) were outsourced for the first time, instead of being processed by a government agency.

Every one issued in the State of Alabama had the wrong Social Security number on it. Many had the decimal point moved two places to the right, so that a person who received $430 had $43,000 reported to the IRS.

As much as people like to complain about the government, there are some things that govt. does quite well.

Reeder: Can’t you at least let one of your rants about alleged wrongs committed by the Bush administration sink out of sight before you start another? This “outsourcing” is, after all, nothing but a continuation of Al Gore’s “reinvention of government”. The only difference is that, as usual, a new administration had to affix their own terminology to it.

Doggy Knees: As noted above, Clinton/Gore started this process.

Regardless of who started it - what you have now is a “shadow” government that is not being monitored. You can find out how many government employees exist, what they are suppose to be doing, what it is costing (or what has been budgeted and spent).

Try getting that information on what functions have been contracted and how much money is being spent (paid to contractors) - you cannot get the information.

There is, of course, a whole set of arguments on const comparisons, getting the work done cheaper, contract mods, etc etc. That is a whole other debate -

You cannot get the cost figures on government contractors - neither Bush, nor Clinton nor OMB can/could show the federal government shrinking other than reducing federal employees - but with the contracts, it continues to grow.

That was brillant, ** Enderw24 ** , just brillant. :slight_smile:

The process of studying federal government operations to determine if the private sector could do the job better and save the taxpayers money is based upon a program in existence for almost 40 years known as A-76.

A-76 has, until the Bush Administration, required federal agencies to perform studies and determine what work is best performed by federal workers or be contacted out to the private sector. These studies often take several years because of the detail involved. The DoD has used them for years, refining A-76 and provides the best, and worst examples of A-76 in the federal government.

As a taxpayer, and a federal employee, I support efficiency in government, when the intended purpose is to save tax dollars and improve government efficiency as its main goals.

The Bush Administration has rewritten A-76 from the ground up. It’s now called competitive sourcing. We are not talking a change in program title; the entire A-76 program was thrown out and rewritten according to Administration requirements. While the Administration touts saving tax dollars and promoting efficiency in government, the reality is very different.

In a series of studies just completed at our agency, the tax payers paid $18.6 million for the studies in FY2003. Internal documents show the studies required many employees to drop their normal work and perform the studies. Their normal work was not completed properly since other federal employees had to pick up the work. So, in effect another $18 million in required government work in FY2003 was not done properly. That means at least $36 million was spent on the studies so far.

The results? More than 95 percent of the completed studies say federal employees in our agency can perform the work more effectively and efficiently than contractors. The remaining five percent will be contacted out.

Total taxpayer savings? About $1.2 million over six years. The taxpayers will save $200,000 a year for six years. However, it cost the taxpayers $18.6 million to find this out in real losses, and at least that amount again in unsubstantiated losses.

However, the dollar loss caused by the studies is one thing. The preliminary results of implementing competitive sourcing are quite another.

Under federal law, those federal employees who lose their jobs to competitive sourcing will still be paid as federal employees, even though their work is taken away from them. The government is required by law to find them new jobs within government. This can only change if Congress grants RIF (reduction in force) authority to an agency to separate employees from federal service. Even so, the process can take years and includes substantial buyout options, retraining, replacing employees, etc., before federal employees are given a pink slip and shown the door. The reasoning for this long process is to eliminate any potential for illegal political shenanigans. Once unemployed, the former federal employees can then claim unemployment insurance. Since they are former federal employees, the states do not pay for their unemployment. The federal government must pay their unemployment in total.

In addition, those contractors who “win” are often guaranteed their baseline contract equal to or greater than what the agency used to pay their former federal employees. This often means that if it cost the taxpayers say $25 million to do the work, it will still cost the taxpayers than same amount to do the same work by contractors. However, since a private contractor has its own overhead and profit requirements, those folks the contractor hires to replace the federal workers often means they will be paid less than federal employees and with fewer benefits. Since contract staff are not bound to the same federal ethics and accountability laws as federal employees, problems are certainly to develop.

Now many reading this may salute competitive sourcing and say “good riddance to federal employees,” believing we are all lazy and waste your tax dollars. While there are bad apples in the system – and some agencies are worse than others – the sweeping statement belies a serious lack of knowledge of federal service.

Up to 50 percent of the federal workforce is within five years of retirement (baby boomers). Tens of thousands of person-years of knowledge and experience will retire enmass. Many of these same employees may lose their jobs earlier to competitive sourcing. If they lose their jobs to competitive sourcing, they will not yet be entitled to their retirement. Once savings and unemployment runs out, Congress will be forced to do something for these people until retirement benefits kick in. This is unprecented in federal workforce history.

Shouldn’t these people be able to find work? In most case, no. Age discrimination suits are climbing rapidly as post-baby boomer managers and supervisors refuse to hire people older than themselves. There are not enough Walmart jobs to absorb them until they can claim their retirement.

At the end of the day the actual cost to taxpayers for competitive sourcing will far exceed any alleged savings.

A-76 would have resulted in real savings. The Bush Administration’s competitive sourcing will not. It was never intended to be. Competitive sourcing is a sleight-of-hand program so Bush can say he reduced the federal workforce by tens of thousands. What Bush will not say, and the media will not ask (until after the fact when it’s too late) is that the cost to taxpayers will skyrocket and government efficiency will degrade. By the time taxpayers know and get angry, Bush and political appointees will be out of office (with their own lucrative retirements) and/or in Bush’s second term and he won’t do anything to repair the damage he caused.

In the case of the OP’s post concerning disabled federal employees, you can expect serious problems. Many of these folks are employed under federal law programs and not agency regulations. In many cases competitive sourcing programs are agency initiatives instigated by the Bush Administration. Unless Congress changes the federal program, the disabled employees must receive federal entitlements, regardless of what Bush wants. It will take years to iron this out in Congress and the Courts; there will be no realized tax dollar savings.

And Congress is growing skeptical of the Bush Administration with competitive sourcing. This is because many areas of the country will be devasted with huge unemployment issues. Any resulting contractor hires are unable to offset the actual dollar losses.

As I said near the beginning of this post, as a taxpayer, and a federal employee, I support efficiency in government, when the intended purpose is to save tax dollars and improve government efficiency as its main goals.

Competitive sourcing is not cost-effective, efficient nor time-sensitive. It is not intended to be. Without addressing the potential substantial federal layoffs in a narrow time frame, as opposed to the former A-76 diversified system, can the economy handle it? After all, Bush vowed to eliminate up to 800,000 federal jobs in less than five years. If “successful” many of these job losses will take place enmass.

Restructing via attrition, retirement and A-76 would achieve the same efficiency intent in the same time frame, but not at the same costs to taxpayers.

Then again, competitive sourcing is not A-76. And it’s not about true tax dollar savings nor government efficiency.

You have any evidence for your $18.6 million figure?

Given your highly suspect method of assuming that another 18.6 million was spent by “picking up the load,” I’d be curious to see a cite.

  • Rick

Check the Washington Post web site and search under “competitive sourcing.”

Yep, it’s there. Duckster probably just doesn’t want to get directly pinned to the organization in question.

Duckster’s estimate of the expense being doubled is actually conservative compared to a named source in the article, which estimates that the total expense was actually close to four times the advertised price tag.

Bricker, here it is