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GLTF FYI - Army Corps of Engineers Reorganization



     Here is the current viewpoint I am hearing from individuals at the 
     Chicago Regional Office:
     
     The numbers tell the story.  In particular, the power count tells the 
     story.
     
     Under the proposed plan, the Great Lakes region loses:
     
        1) The only Senior Executive
        2) 3 of the current four GS-15's including
                - Chief Attorney
                - Chief of Planning and Engineering
                - Chief of Construction Operations
                - The remaining GS-15, the Programs Chief, falls under the 
                        SES Program Manager located in Cincinnati (i.e. 
                        this is not a top position)
        3) The top military official in Chicago (a full Colonel) will have 
                double duties as Commander of the Chicago district. 
                District responsibilities will probably require >90% of his 
                time.
        4) The only remaining Coastal Engineer in Chicago has been offered 
                buyout.  Coastal Engineering is clearly a Great Lakes 
                specific area of expertise.
        5) Next year, Chicago is slated to lose 15 staff, Cincinnati to    
                lose 3.
        6) Over the next three years, Chicago will fall to a staff of 15, 
                Cincinnati to 65.  This is quite different from the 30/50 
                projections originally discussed as maintaining an 
                intergrated headquarters.
        7) The Chicago Office is now being referred to as a 'strategic 
                group' or 'satellite' rather than as a 'headquarters'
                office.  
     
     The sentiment in the Chicago regional office is that:
        we are 'back to square one'
        promises of 'a virtual office environment' creating a single        
                functional region are not supported by this plan, 
        the 'military structure' and 'objectives of the Ohio River' are 
                taking 'priority over Great Lakes interests'
        'promises made to the unions' have been broken
        the plan 'moves ahead of where they have to be in terms of staff 
                cuts' in order to position themselves to 'retain functions 
                of the Cincinnati office at the expense of Chicago'.
     
     
     And this from the Great Lakes Commission: 
     
     FYI- The Executive Committee of the Great Lakes Commission has had 
     extended discussions and meetings with the Corps over the past couple 
     of years regarding Corps reorganization.  Policy positions have been 
     produced and circulated within the Corps as an outcome of such 
     meetings.I anticipate another meeting within the next month to 
     transmit individual and collective state concerns about the current 
     plan.  I'll keep you apprised of the outcome.
     
     -----Original Message-----
     From: Rochelle Sturtevant <Rochelle_Sturtevant@glenn.senate.gov>
     Subject: Army Corps of Engineers Reorganization
     
     General Van Winkle and Mr. Dwight Beranek of the Army Corps of
     Engineers met with Great Lakes staff on the Hill last Thursday about
     the current plans to implement the functional integration of the
     Chicago and Cincinnati headquarters of the Great Lakes and Ohio River
     Division of the Army Corps of Engineers.  Highlights follow:
     
     The Administration recognizes the following key functions which must
     be maintained in the Chicago office:
           technical epertise for
                 dredging operations
                 Soo Locks
                 species issues (invasive species work)
                 contaminated sediments
                 navigation
                 environmental/water quality
           Secretariat for the IJC Control Boards
           Communications interface
                 Liaison to Great Lakes Commission, RAPs, etc
                 Interface with Congress
                 Interface with EPA Region V, FEMA, etc.
                 Interface with IJC
     
     The Administration plans to consolidate the following functions in
     Cincinnati:
             Administrative support
             Legal staff
             Account executives
             Engineering
             Planning
             Program Management
     
          Staffing for Chicago would be:
             1) Full Colonel (with dual responsibilities for the Chicago
                     district)
             2) GS 15 - Civilian
             3) Staff - downsized to 12-15 over 3 years (some transfered to
                     district)
     
          Staffing for Cincinnati would be:
             1) BdgGeneral
             2) 2 Senior Executives
                     a) Program Manager
                     b) Technical Functions
             3) Staff - downsized to approximately 65 over 3 years
     
          Mr. Beranek noted that many technical support functions (and
          personnel) will be moved to the district level.
     
     
          Feedback on this preliminary plan is requested from any members 
     of the Great Lakes community who interact with the Army Corps of 
     Engineers.
          I will summarize all feedback to the group and communicate to 
     Senate and House Great Lakes staff.  Please indicate with any 
     responses whether or not your name should be associated with comments.
     
     
             Rochelle Sturtevant
             Coordinator, Senate Great Lakes Task Force
             Rochelle_Sturtevant@glenn.senate.gov
             202-224-4229