2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 17 Oct 2002 15:56:38 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Corps ordered to open door to privatization
Corps ordered to open door to privatization
Flood control, other ?non-core' operations would be included
By Sean Reilly
Newhouse News Service

WASHINGTON -- As part of a sweeping and controversial restructuring of
the Army, the Bush administration has ordered the Army Corps of
Engineers to open its entire civil works program to competition from
private businesses, according to government documents.

In an Oct. 4 memo to top subordinates, Army Secretary Thomas White said
the Army must focus its energies on "core competencies" while obtaining
other goods and services from the private sector when that makes sense.

Among the Army operations White placed outside that core category is the
Corps of Engineers civil works program, which encompasses hundreds of
flood-control and river navigation projects across the country. Up to
32,500 military and civilian employees could be affected.

In an agencywide e-mail Oct. 10, the corps commander, Lt. Gen. Robert
Flowers, acknowledged that employees have concerns but said he didn't
know enough details to gauge the impact of White's memorandum. "I would
like to be able to tell you that we have all the answers to your
questions, but at this point, we don't," Flowers wrote.

"Secretary of the Army White signed a memorandum on 4 October directing
all Army elements to develop implementation plans to outsource positions
considered non-core competencies," Flowers said in his e-mail. "These
are positions considered to be not in direct support of the Army's
war-fighting mission that could possibly be performed by other federal
agencies or the private sector. This requirement is in support of
President Bush's management initiatives for government."

He pledged that corps brass would do their best to make higher-ups
understand that "the entire corps is ?core.' "

Under one timetable, corps officials would have until December to
develop a game plan for competition, with implementation to follow at
some point after next March.

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