Federal Government and Banking & Finance and Accounting and Government & Economic Development and Government and Military

Ohio congressmen seek to raid Indy defense accounting jobs

April 21, 2010

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service headquarters on the northeast side of Indianapolis would lose about 225 Marine Corps payroll jobs if two congressmen from northern Ohio have their way.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, and Rep. Steven LaTourette, a Republican, in February asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to move the Indianapolis jobs to a DFAS center in Cleveland.

So far, the Indianapolis DFAS headquarters has not been breached by the politicians intent on pleasing their constituents back in the Buckeye State.

“I know they have allocated the space for them (Marine Corps payroll workers) there in the building” in Indianapolis, said DFAS spokesman Tom LaRock.

The Marine Corps payroll workers are among about 1,000 people being transferred to the Indianapolis facility as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission determination. Several DFAS facilities have been shut down or are being closed, including those in Denver and Kansas City.

The Indianapolis facility employed 2,600 just a few years ago. That number should settle out at about 3,600 this year, said LaRock.   

Kucinich and LaTourette said the BRAC commission determined that all Marine Corps DFAS jobs would be based in Cleveland, “but were erroneously diverted to DFAS Indianapolis.”

Their letter to Gates states that Cleveland officials in 2007 learned the jobs would go to Indianapolis instead because of a computer system used here that the Marine Corps would be adopting. But the Marine Corps later opted out of that new system.

“The rational basis for these Marine Corps jobs relocating to Indianapolis is obsolete. We ask that you immediately enforce the decision of the BRAC Commission to relocate these jobs to Cleveland as recommended,” the Ohio congressmen said in their letter to Gates.

Earlier this year, LaRock said it still made sense for the Marine Corps jobs to remain in Indianapolis because of the need to work with the facility’s information technology personnel.

The Indianapolis facility at 8899 E. 56th St. processes pay for active soldiers and retirees.

The shift of about 1,000 jobs to the massive facility at the former Fort Benjamin Harrison has left AT&T Indiana scrambling to provide 10,000 consecutive direct-dial phone lines to DFAS.

AT&T recently asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to grant on an expedited basis its request to direct a phone-line-pooling administrator firm to free up the blocks of lines, saying the General Services Administration “indicated that a delay in obtaining the requested resources will have an adverse affect on DFAS’s war-fighting mission.”

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