WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), a leader on federal employee issues and a senior Democrat on the Transportation, Treasury Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement supporting the adoption of the Van Hollen amendment to the House Fiscal Year 2004 Transportation, Treasury Appropriations bill approved by the House this evening:
“I strongly supported the Van Hollen amendment that prevents OMB from spending any funds to implement the A-76 rewrite changes that were finalized on May 29 regarding federal employees and contractors. Its enactment will ensure that when public-private competition occurs, the process will be fair and balanced, thus protecting the interests of customers and maximizing the interests of taxpayers.
“The OMB changes were a controversial and flawed rewrite of the privatization process, OMB Circular A-76. OMB had directed all agencies to use the revised A-76 in reviewing for privatization the jobs of at least 416,000 federal employees.
“Unlike previous A-76 revisions, which have been fair and balanced, the May 29 rewrite included significant changes that would have put federal employees at a competitive disadvantage. Moreover, the rewrite would not have ensured that the privatization process actually results in more efficient government services and appreciable savings to taxpayers.
“The Van Hollen amendment sensibly freezes the ill-considered changes from taking effect and leaves it to OMB to revise the May 29 rewrite. It permits the prior A-76 system to operate. Significantly, the Van Hollen amendment does not prevent agencies from continuing to contract out. The Van Hollen amendment does not eliminate, abolish, or suspend the administration's competitive sourcing initiative.”