Letters to the editor

Debating MCI

Editor's note: We have received much mail about the government's investigation to determine whether MCI, formerly WorldCom Inc., should be allowed to continue as a federal contractor. Many letters are from MCI employees. Here is a sample.

As an employee of MCI, please know that we have been victimized like workers have been at Enron, Global Crossing and numerous other companies. We lost all of our stock and savings because a few people running our company as WorldCom committed crimes. We've suffered layoffs, cutbacks, hiring freezes, and salary/promotion freezes. They were also crimes against us, the hard-working backbone of America, as they were crimes against all the other hard workers of America, the laws of our country and Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. Please don't allow the punishment to go beyond those responsible for the crimes.

Lela Harris MCI

Throughout the turmoil that has befallen MCI in the past two years, the company has continued to provide superlative service to its existing government customers. I'm sure I don't need to reiterate the extensive list of agencies for which we provide mission-critical services.

The fact that during MCI's most trying hour, we were still there with absolutely no drop in service quality should speak to the level of commitment and dedication that we, the MCI employees, show to all of our customers, including the government.

Charles Mantione MCI

Questionable Performance

Your comments in "Close should not count" (FCW, July 14) that the Defense Department's failure to enforce the terms of performance-based contracts "is not a story of graft and corruption, nor is it an example of inept contacting officers wasting taxpayers' money" is not entirely accurate. My observation is that contracting officers are directed not to enforce the terms of service-level agreements, and nowhere is that phenomenon more visible than the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

Though the contracting officers may not waste taxpayers' money, someone sure is.

Name withheld by request

Consider the Source

Having been employed both by defense contractors and the federal government, I think I know why some contractors can do "nongovernment" jobs cheaper than federal employees. Contractor employees have to move with the contract, meaning they move to where the jobs are. This transfer often means they lose seniority and retirement benefits, so they cost less to the employer. The contractor can charge the government less.

Is it fair that the government saves money at the expense of the individual taxpayer? Don't tell me nothing is fair in life.

Name withheld by request

TSP Magic (continued)

In a July 21 letter to the editor, an Air Force reader suggested that logging on to the Thrift Savings Plan Web site is easy. "You say, 'Shazam,' turn around three times to your right, reboot once and then log in." Here's his latest report.

Shazam, part two. Just logged in. Works.

Leendert H. Stuyt U.S. Air Force

Cause for Concern

I read your July 21 article "Managing through the buzz" with a grin on my face and a lump in my throat. This is one of those articles that make a reader wonder not only about the author and the editor, but the state of the union as well.

Annie Linskey, the author, fueled my fears by writing, "Patricia McLagan helped NASA change its strategy from 'How do we go to the moon?' to 'Let's get a space shuttle running.'" In light of the recent Columbia crash investigation, this sort of praise really makes you think. Does McLagan put this on her resume? Does the author keep up with the current news? Does the editor have a sense of humor?

Then, in the very next sentence, I read that McLagan "is now working on a reorganization effort at the Interior Department."

Usually, my letters to the editor only complain about grammar mistakes and gratuitous (or not) use of brand names. But now, instead, I'm worried about Interior.

Connie Abeln SBC Services Inc.

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