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Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2013

Apr. 14, 2013 - 12:24PM   |  
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More contract oversight needed

Regarding “How a contracting official scammed more than $30M,” April 1 issue:

I’ve been associated with contracting for more than 35 years in federal service. This article makes me sick to the core. It is no wonder our government is so distrusted and looked down upon.

As I see it, there’s one major reason for this kind of thing: lack of government oversight. The major reason for that is lack of priorities in the government.

In my many years, I’ve seen it time and again. When budget crunching is upon us, what gets cut first? Contract oversight. We talk the talk, but we rarely walk the walk. Quality and contract oversight are the first to get the ax because we don’t think beyond the end of our nose.

It’s happening right now. The budget is in serious imbalance, and where does the balance come from? Personnel, those in quality and oversight. The thinking goes: “These people aren’t all that important; let’s cut back on the number of them.”

How wrong the thought process is, and this article shouts of the very reality of my words. It tells of the serious need for oversight to remain Priority One, not the last priority.

It makes me want to get out of contracting. It so annoys me that my professional caring is never highlighted, but let one of my colleagues screw up and it’s front-page news.

There are a ton of great people — honest people — working in the contracting career.

— Fred Moore, Quality Assurance Specialist, Mission and Installation, Contracting Command, Fort Gordon, Ga.

Keep USPS oversight

In his March 4 letter (“How to reform USPS”), Parl Guthrie advocates for the elimination of the governing boards that oversee the U.S. Postal Service, including the Postal Regulatory Commission. In the past few years, the PRC has been a vital resource for rural communities across America that have been fighting to maintain their local post offices. Without that body’s efforts, thousands of communities would have lost their post offices.

By USPS standards, “rural” includes communities of several thousand — vibrant, growing communities whose loss of their post office is a genuine blow.

The PRC, or something similar, must remain a part of the picture.

— Kathy Carter, Williams, Iowa

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