Edward Abounader

DFAS union leader says new accounting board unlikely

Published Dec 4, 2017 at 4:00pm

A Rome Defense Finance and Accounting Service union official is ready to abandon four-month-old hopes of representing the DFAS union on a proposed new federal Defense Accounting Solutions Board.

Union local President Edward Abounader said Friday he has gotten no response on a national union official’s August letter to Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) David L. Norquist that listed Abounader as a point of contact for union representation on the board. That letter was by American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox, Sr.

Abounader said he has been told unofficially by representatives at DFAS headquarters in Indianapolis that the proposed new accounting board was “not going to be moving forward.” The board was to be comprised of individuals with technical knowledge of accounting practices, for efficient and timely resolution of Defense Department issues related to finance and accounting, according to federal documents in May.

U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, in August also sent a letter to Norquist that sought a seat for DFAS union representatives on the new board. Her letter noted that DFAS’ role in an array of Defense Department finance and accounting tasks should warrant its inclusion on the board.

A Tenney spokesperson could not be reached for comment today regarding whether her letter received a response.

Abounader said of proposed DFAS union representation on the board that it now may be a “non-issue.” He added of the proposal, “I thought it was a good idea,” and it could have involved “everybody working together on the same solution” to matters.

Rome DFAS, which has a Griffiss park facility, has about 940 employees. It is one of five primary sites in the DFAS system.