Letter to the editor

I have very much enjoyed Milt Zall's columns over the years, but there is something amiss regarding the new crescendo toward making airport screeners federal employees ["More feds, not fewer," Federal Computer Week, Oct. 15, 2001].

I am currently located at an overseas air base, and the air terminal is operated by the U.S. Air Force. It is most interesting that the airport screeners here are not federal employees; the Air Force let a contract to go private less than six months ago.

Since A-76 states that no "inherently governmental" function can be performed by nongovernment employees, this contract appears to mean that, at the very least, the Air Force has no heartburn stating that airport screening is not inherently governmental.

As for my personal opinion, there are dedicated workers in both the civilian and the government world. There are also limitations inherent in both worlds that will sometimes be at odds with retaining and motivating dedicated workers.

Kevin Burns

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