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