WEST POINT, N.Y--West Point leadership announced Wednesday that Mission & Installation Contracting Command selected Ginn Group from Peachtree City, Ga., to provide public works operations and maintenance functions to West Point. The announcement regarding the custodial services award was not available at press time. The tentative decision affects more than 300 federal employees here.

Garrison Commander Col. Daniel Bruno gave the news to DPW employees during briefings at Eisenhower Hall. He praised the study team for making a "tremendous effort" in the competitive process.

"Although the organization proposed by our government employees was not selected, the most efficient organization team put together an aggressive proposal, and I'd like to commend them for their innovative approach and critical look at streamlining opportunities," Bruno said. "I will work to ensure a smooth transition period and an environment in which all displaced federal employees receive the utmost support.

"The goal of competitive sourcing is to ensure West Point's public works operations and maintenance are provided in the most efficient and effective manner possible," he continued.

The commercial activity study of West Point's Directorate of Public Works began in September 2006. The competition establishes federal policy for deciding whether to keep recurring, commercial-like activities within the government or contract them out to a private source. The guidance tells how to compare performance and cost-related information to arrive at the best overall value for the taxpayer.

A 20-day public review and appeal period must now be completed. After this time, federal government employees and private competitors can review documentation of the cost comparison.

"During this 20-day review period, directly interested parties may contest the decision if they feel an error was made," David Bugger of the directorate of contracting said. "If a contest is filed during this designated timeframe, an administrative board will then review the contest and render a decision prior to the process moving forward."

West Point Civilian Personnel Advisory Center officials said qualified employees have the right of first refusal with the contractor and are entitled to register with the government's Priority Placement Program.

"CPAC personnel will work on placing as many employees as possible into other positions," Carol McQuinn, West Point's civilian personnel director, said.
West Point initially conducted a management study of DPW to decide the most cost-effective and efficient methods necessary to meet mission needs. That work is described in the Performance Work Statement. Both the government and the contractor developed their proposals based on the PWS.
The government has used private industry to deliver commercial services for more than four decades. The Commercial Services Management Program was bolstered in 1998 by passing the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act. That act requires all agencies, including the Department of Defense, to inventory commercial activities annually.

In the FAIR Act's first year, federal agencies identified roughly 850,000 commercial positions. Private firms now perform many former government jobs-from high tech to the routine-worldwide.

Since implementation of the FAIR Act, West Point has announced 1,145 positions for study, competing 614 positions in the custodial, logistics and information technology functions, all of which resulted with continued in-house operation.

In September 2006, 531 positions were announced for study under the Directorate of Public Works, to include custodial services.
Past studies, although resulting with an in-house decision, required organization restructuring to the Most Efficient Organizations.

There are about 725 contractors at West Point performing services currently. Future study announcements are unknown.