Letter to the Editor

The other side of the story

I was disappointed that Washington Technology chose to include an anonymous attack on the American Federation of Government Employees in the Dec. 13, 2004, article, "Styles slams share in savings," without allowing this union an opportunity to respond.

AFGE is proud to have taken the lead in pointing out how share-in-savings contracting can be used to undermine the interests of taxpayers. Moreover, our argument that share-in-savings contracting gives contractors an unfair advantage over federal employees in the "competitive (sic) sourcing" process remains unrefuted.

Given its influence in the acquisition community, I would ask the editorial staff of Washington Technology to encourage its pro-contractor sources to have the courage of their convictions to allow themselves to be identified. It was telling, indeed, that the share-in-savings critics identified themselves and their affiliations, while beleaguered share-in-savings defenders shrouded themselves in anonymity, almost as if they were ashamed to be associated with this controversial contracting vehicle.

Your article noted that AFGE paid Angela Styles to expound in a scholarly article the skeptical view she had taken toward share in savings while serving as the Bush administration's top procurement official. We make no secret of that and disclosed that arrangement on the first page.

The most prominent defender of share in savings is a much-quoted academic who is also a lobbyist for a firm that would benefit from share in savings. The most prominent defender of share in savings in Congress receives campaign contributions from firms that would benefit from share in savings.

Will Washington Technology identify those connections in future articles on share in savings? Share-in-savings opponents have nothing to hide -- can the same be said of share-in-savings defenders?

Beth Moten

Legislative and political director

American Federation of Government Employees


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