Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Flash (Not) 9-15-11

Just more fuel on the fire.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Press Release

”WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Tuesday expressed shock that the Department of Homeland Security has more contractor employees than civilian employees.”

Shocked they are. Shocked!

Meanwhile, back in the FAA...

You may have missed this, from the Boston Globe a couple of weeks ago.

Air traffic errors climb
FAA, Raytheon controller training under scrutiny

(I’m skipping all the way down to the contractor part.)

”The Waltham company (Raytheon) is the subject of a $1 billion lawsuit from Washington Consulting Group Inc., which had been training air traffic controllers for the FAA since 1986. The company alleges Raytheon was awarded the contract after an improper bidding process, and jeopardized the safety of the aviation system by cutting corners in the training program.

“It is less safe flying in an airplane in our country now,’’ said Steven Thomas, an attorney representing Washington Consulting Group, which partnered with the security company Lockheed Martin Corp. on the bid.

Raytheon maintains the competition was managed fairly by the FAA. “WCG’s allegations are both frivolous and irresponsible,’’ spokesman Jonathan Kasle said in a statement to the Globe.”

Anyone from my generation with any brains knew training should never have been contracted out to start with. Maybe Senators Lieberman and Collins will run their findings over to Senators Rockefeller and Hutchinson and tell them the horse left the barn about 30 years ago.

For those just joining Get the Flick let me restate my beliefs about government service succinctly. The government needs good people working for it. The operative word being “for”. Those people should be employees of the People without the inherent conflict of serving the People and a corporation. What you have at the moment is legalized graft. Government extracts the money via taxes and corporations -- in the form of contractors -- use it for their own purposes. Usually that purpose involves making themselves very rich while bribing ex-government employees to come work for them and use their inside knowledge to win government contracts. Contracts that those very same same people might have written right before they retired.

Once you recognize the game, you see it being played everywhere in government. Government agencies get gutted or corrupted and private industry gets greedy -- and rich. Here’s a totally unrelated example I heard this morning on Marketplace’s podcast.

”ROETT: I think a large part is a matter of regulation. It's a matter of transparency. The United States went through a long period beginning in 2000/2001, basically tearing up the regulatory framework that had been put into the place: the Securities Exchange Commission was hollowed out basically. Not much responsibility on the part of the private commercial banks. ”

It’s epidemic. But now that people are realizing that even the spy business has been contracted out, they’re getting concerned about it. Clean up on aisle eight.

Don Brown
September 15, 2011

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