AFGE Thanks Indiana Lawmakers for Probing Army’s Planned DFAS Withdrawal

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — American Federation of

Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today thanked a
bipartisan group of Indiana lawmakers for raising tough questions about the
Army’s plan to pull out of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and build
its own financial and accounting office.

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Six Indiana lawmakers sent a letter today to Department of Defense Comptroller
Robert Hale questioning the scheme, which would partly reverse a 1991
consolidation that reduced costs while improving accounting and financial
functions throughout the department.

The letter was signed by Reps. Andre Carson, Susan Brooks, Larry Bucshon and
Jackie Walorski and Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats.

“We thank Congressman Carson and his five colleagues for seeking answers to
important questions about this bizarre scheme,” Cox said. “DFAS won’t formally
brief its own employees and the Army still has not provided AFGE with a
briefing, despite a written commitment to do so.”

AFGE represents the civilian workforce at DFAS, which is responsible for paying
all DoD military and civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, as well as
major DoD contractors and vendors. DFAS is based in Indianapolis, Ind., and also
has offices in Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Limestone, Maine; Rome, N.Y.;
Texarkana, Texas; as well as in Europe and Japan.

In 1991, the Secretary of Defense created DFAS in order to standardize,
consolidate, and improve accounting and financial functions throughout DoD. DFAS
reduces the cost of the department’s finance and accounting operations while
strengthening its financial management.

Throughout 2013, the Army has been engaged in intensive planning to pull out of
DFAS in order to reconstitute its own financial management office, which would
be staffed largely by military personnel in various Army installations across
the world. Currently, DFAS’ civilian employee workforce performs work for the
Army in Indianapolis, Rome, and Limestone. DFAS’s own internal estimate is that
implementation of the Army’s plan would cost at least 1,800 jobs in
Indianapolis.

In a Feb. 25 letter to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Army Secretary John
McHugh wrote that he has merely directed that a review [“Army Financial
Management Optimization (AFMO) initiative”] be conducted and that the Army will
wait for results from a pilot project before considering restructuring
recommendations in January 2016. The Army has planned to shift some work from
Indianapolis and Rome to Fort Bragg, N.C., as early as next month. It is said
that some work was shifted to Fort Stewart last October.

The letter from the six Hoosier lawmakers to the DoD comptroller asks how the
Army could save money from creating its own duplicative finance and accounting
office, what the impact would be on the civilian workforce in Indianapolis, and
what rationale is there for using more expensive military personnel in lieu of
civilian personnel for the performance of these functions.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal
employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the
government of the District of Columbia.

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SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees

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