|3:42 PM EDT||
Pete Visclosky, D-IN 1st
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to the gentleman's amendment.
The gentleman's amendment would strike section 102 of the bill, a provision that prohibits the use of the Circular A-76 privatization process and high-performing organization process for the Army Corps of Engineers. This is a debate that we have had before. This provision enjoys support from both sides of the aisle, and has been included in this bill every year since fiscal year 2008. This provision was originally included to stop an effort to privatize the operation, maintenance and repair of
locks and dams.
The importance of locks and dams to our Nation's economy cannot be understated, and any failure to ensure that the Nation's waterways remain safe and navigable would cripple the economy. These operators and mechanics make vital decisions affecting the lives, liberty and property of private persons, thus rendering the workload inappropriate for contractor performance. Further, no reasonable argument has been made that the locks and dams are overstaffed. Additionally, the Corps undertook a privatization
study for their IT personnel in 2004. After an expensive 3-year study, the results came back as an in-house win.
In general, the circular is profoundly flawed. Both the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Defense Inspector General have reported that agencies are constantly unable to demonstrate that A-76 studies result in savings and that agencies fail to consider the significant costs of conducting such studies. There is nothing wrong with attempts to look for efficiencies in the Federal workforce--that certainly is clear--but when describing A-76 processes, I think of a phrase often
uttered by other colleagues: ``That dog won't hunt.''
We need to stop wasting millions of dollars on these expensive competitions that time and again show government employees are a less expensive alternative, and I would urge all of my colleagues to vote ``no.''
I yield back the balance of my time.