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Congress could throw out outsourcing

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A provision in the omnibus spending bill could halt public-private job competitions for federal work.

The provision introduced by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., would temporarily suspended public-private competitions for federal employees’ jobs conducted under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76.

Other bill provisions indroduced by the lawmakers would:

  • Require agencies insource work currently performed by contractors and to allow federal employees to perform new work.
  • Require agencies determine the size of their contractor workforces.
  • Prevent agencies from outsourcing functions performed by 10 or fewer employees without holding a competition.

The American Federation of Government Employees, which backed similar provisions in previous appropriations  bills, applauded the lawmakers. AFGE President John Gage said:

The A-76 process is clearly broken…The provisions introduced by Sen. Durbin and Rep. Serrano will end years of privatization studies that never saved taxpayer money and were skewed to promote the use of contractors over federal employees.

According to OMB’s May 2008 report on competitive sourcing, however, federal employees won more than 83 percent of the competitions held between fiscal years 2003 and 2007.

The report also claims the government saved $7 billion from the competitions held during that time period because of management efficiencies gained in streamlining how federal work is performed. The savings estimates are often questioned by Congress and employee unions because the estimates do not include the planning costs for the competitions.

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Comments

  1. Fedline » Congressmen call for halt to competition for West Point jobs Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    [...] declared their desire to see an end to public-private competitions for federal jobs through the omnibus bill and other proclamations. But that doesn’t mean the competitions have been stopped [...]

  2. stevemad Says:
    March 25th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I agree with this. The A-76 process is broken. My department has to live with a recently completed A-76 in which the MEO won, but the MEO is part Government employee, Part CONTRACTOR. Becuse of the layers of duplicitave management and other factors, the new organization will end up costing twice as much as the old one. We jokingly refer to the MEO not as the “Most Efficient Organization, but the “Most Expensive Organization”. The only people making money on this is the contract partner. It’s a bad deal for the taxpayers. Scrap the A-76 program. It’s been broken for a long time.