Scott Michael, AMSA President & CEO (American Moving & Storage Association), has issued a statement clarifying his organisation’s position regarding the proposed outsourcing of military household goods moving.
He said that AMSA works through committees of its members to ensure that its staff acts in the best interest of the moving and storage industry. Experience had proven that it is more effective to lobby in favour of something, rather than opposing what someone else is doing.
“Our past efforts to support the industry in consolidating behind a specific new Department of Defense (DOD) programme demonstrate that it is impossible to design a new programme that garners consensus from our diverse industry,” he said. “As a result, we developed the concept of a working group that would give movers a seat at the table to help build the new programme. A working group ensures that all stakeholders have a voice in discussing and determining the best course of action while limiting the ability of parties outside of the moving and storage industry to make unilateral decisions regarding our business.”
Scott said AMSA had worked closely with IAM (International Association of Movers) and other groups to lobby Congress into accepting the Group. “In response, the House offered something similar, an Advisory Council, while the Senate offered a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of DOD’s actions and the current military programme,” he explained. “We are concerned that we don’t have any control over GAO’s findings and the study could negatively portray our industry’s role in the current programme. GAO has no power over DOD, and they may not agree with DOD’s findings. We are not opposed to a GAO study, but we think there is a better way: to give our industry a larger voice in the process through a working group.”
He said that the views of some member companies had evolved, with some opposed to any change to the DOD programme, while others are open to minor changes that preserve the basic structure. These differing opinions may mean that there are times when AMSA is not able to establish a position. “Looking forward and assuming we are successful, we expect Congress to give final approval to the Defense Bill this fall thus sending it to the President for his signature. By early next year, the GAO, BCA and the bids will come together and we will know a lot more about the programme’s direction and whether there are new arguments to be made for or against proceeding. We will again turn to our committees to guide us.”
Scott said that the matter had been “incredibly divisive for the Association” but, by aggressively advocating for a reasonable approach and not opposing improved service for military families, AMSA had been able to capture the attention of lawmakers to take the industry’s concerns seriously.
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Photo: Scott Michael