AFSCME Welcomes FBI Probe of Overbilling by Contractor

Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO

    DETROIT, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Albert Garrett, President of Michigan
 Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
 (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, issued the following statement regarding reports of
 overbilling by a parking contractor at Detroit Metropolitan Airport:
     "Michigan AFSCME Council 25 welcomes the public focus on allegations of
 overbilling by a parking contractor at Metro Airport," stated Garrett.  "It is
 in the best interests of the people and taxpayers of Wayne County and Detroit
 that the FBI become involved in the investigation, and shed the bright light
 of day on whatever has been happening.  If contractors have overbilled, or
 other corruption is discovered in the contracting process, the full weight of
 the law should be brought to bear on the offenders.
     "We do not know whether there has in fact been overbilling or any type of
 impropriety in this matter.  However, contracting out or privatization of
 public services is an invitation to corruption," continued Garrett.  "While
 public workers employed by a unit of government can provide public services at
 cost, contractors are in business to make a profit.  That means a mark-up in
 cost, cuts in services, a loss of good jobs, or all of these.  The bottom line
 is clear: the contractor makes his profit by exploiting the taxpayers and
 looting the public coffers.
     "Politicians and demagogues have long argued that the private, for-profit
 sector can somehow perform public services at lower cost than government,"
 Garrett pointed out.  "There is simply no truth in this claim.  It is not
 humanly possible to write a privatization contract which will provide the same
 level of service public workers provide.  Anecdotal evidence offered by
 advocates of privatization is merely an attempt to compare apples and oranges,
 often augmented by fuzzy and misleading math.
     "Let's get to the bottom of the allegations of overbilling at the
 airport," concluded Garrett.  "The sooner we learn the truth, the sooner we
 can begin to bring public services back into the public sector and end the
 exploitation of the taxpayers."
     Albert Garrett also serves as Vice President of AFSCME International.
 Michigan AFSCME Council 25 represents more than 65,000 public workers across
 Michigan.  AFSCME International represents 1.4 million public workers
 nationwide.
 
 

SOURCE Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO
    DETROIT, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Albert Garrett, President of Michigan
 Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
 (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, issued the following statement regarding reports of
 overbilling by a parking contractor at Detroit Metropolitan Airport:
     "Michigan AFSCME Council 25 welcomes the public focus on allegations of
 overbilling by a parking contractor at Metro Airport," stated Garrett.  "It is
 in the best interests of the people and taxpayers of Wayne County and Detroit
 that the FBI become involved in the investigation, and shed the bright light
 of day on whatever has been happening.  If contractors have overbilled, or
 other corruption is discovered in the contracting process, the full weight of
 the law should be brought to bear on the offenders.
     "We do not know whether there has in fact been overbilling or any type of
 impropriety in this matter.  However, contracting out or privatization of
 public services is an invitation to corruption," continued Garrett.  "While
 public workers employed by a unit of government can provide public services at
 cost, contractors are in business to make a profit.  That means a mark-up in
 cost, cuts in services, a loss of good jobs, or all of these.  The bottom line
 is clear: the contractor makes his profit by exploiting the taxpayers and
 looting the public coffers.
     "Politicians and demagogues have long argued that the private, for-profit
 sector can somehow perform public services at lower cost than government,"
 Garrett pointed out.  "There is simply no truth in this claim.  It is not
 humanly possible to write a privatization contract which will provide the same
 level of service public workers provide.  Anecdotal evidence offered by
 advocates of privatization is merely an attempt to compare apples and oranges,
 often augmented by fuzzy and misleading math.
     "Let's get to the bottom of the allegations of overbilling at the
 airport," concluded Garrett.  "The sooner we learn the truth, the sooner we
 can begin to bring public services back into the public sector and end the
 exploitation of the taxpayers."
     Albert Garrett also serves as Vice President of AFSCME International.
 Michigan AFSCME Council 25 represents more than 65,000 public workers across
 Michigan.  AFSCME International represents 1.4 million public workers
 nationwide.
 
 SOURCE  Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO