The Center for Grassroots Oversight

This page can be viewed at http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=the_bush_administration_s_environmental_record_1195


Context of '(Between 2001 and 2002): Bush Administration Pushes Forest Service Team to Stop Accepting Form Letters'

This is a scalable context timeline. It contains events related to the event (Between 2001 and 2002): Bush Administration Pushes Forest Service Team to Stop Accepting Form Letters. You can narrow or broaden the context of this timeline by adjusting the zoom level. The lower the scale, the more relevant the items on average will be, while the higher the scale, the less relevant the items, on average, will be.

The Bush administration pressures the Forest Service’s Content Analysis Team (CAT) to stop accepting form letters. CAT’s job is to review comment letters from the public and produce summary reports on public opinion for policy decision-makers. (Hanscom 4/26/2004)

Newfields International, an environmental consulting firm, completes a study comparing several different content-analysis techniques used by government agencies and private contractors. The study, commissioned by Yosemite National Park, finds that the Forest Service’s Content Analysis Team (CAT) is using the most cost-effective, high-quality system available, explaining that the team has a “track record (that) is not equaled by any other organized process.” CAT is in charge of reviewing comment letters from the public and producing summary reports for policy decision-makers. Two months later the Bush administration will announce that the program will be reviewed for possible outsourcing to private contractors (see December 2002). (Hanscom 4/26/2004)

Forest Service officials inform employees working for the agency’s Content Analysis Team (CAT) that their jobs are being reviewed for possible outsourcing to the private sector. The employees are assured that the review would make them “a shining example for the rest of the agency of how successful federal employees can be.” Months later, CAT will undergo “direct conversion” instead, and all but the team’s top managers will lose their jobs to private sector outsourcing (see March 2003). (Hanscom 4/26/2004)

The Forest Service outsources the work of 47 agency employees of the Content Analysis Team (CAT) to private consulting companies, despite an August 2002 independent study praising the team for its efficiency (see October 2002) and a June 2003 internal analysis concluding that outsourcing would increase the Forest Service’s costs (see June 2004). (Gehrke 11/14/2003; Devlin 11/15/2003; Hanscom 4/26/2004)


Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike