Browsing: A-76

Group ranks Congress on privatization votes


A coalition of businesses pushing for the privatization of government work ranked Congress this week on votes that would have invited more competition between the public and private sector. “We are seeing an unprecedented level of government expansion into numerous activities that should be left to the private sector,” John Palatiello, president of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition, said at a news conference at the National Press Club on Thursday. “In our free enterprise system, government should be the umpire, not the opposing team.” The coalition’s report lists how each member of the U.S. House and Senate voted on legislation, amendments and…

2011 Budget protects feds, tightens contracting


Federal employees worried that their jobs will be outsourced to the private sector can rest easy for another year. The 2011 budget proposal continues a governmentwide moratorium on public-private competitions for federal work. But contractors may face further insourcing under the proposal. While blocking agencies from competing federal work, the budget’s “general provisions” section requires agencies to take a head count of all contractor employees performing services for the government. The so-called “service contract inventory” must also include the name of the vendor, the type of service provided and the cost of that service. Businesses may also see fewer federal…

OMB procurement guidance now available


UPDATE: OMB says the definition of inherently governmental functions is still being worked on. Expect to hear something by the end of the year. The Office of Management and Budget just released two long-awaited procurement reform memos. The first is about increasing competition while reducing risk in contracting. The second is about strategic planning for the civilian agency acquisition workforce. So far no word on a A third piece of expected guidance meant to clarify the definition of inherently governmental functions was not released today as expected [see update above]. That memo will help agencies carry out earlier guidance to…

Outsourcing: AFGE Strikes Back!


 Update: AFGE has also sent yours truly this point-by-point refutation of industry’s opposition to the CLEAN UP Act. We told you earlier today about a Republican bill introduced yesterday to promote the outsourcing of commercial work performed by federal employees. Now enter the American Federation of Government Employees, a privatization foe, announcing it has taken “its contracting out reform campaign to the House of Representatives.” In a  June 4 news release, union boss John Gage applauded the introduction of Mikulski’s CLEAN UP Act in the House by Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md.  Gage said: The CLEAN UP Act is vital to any serious effort to…

Republicans: If you want to "CLEAN UP" government, open a phonebook


In April, several senate Democrats, led by Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski, introduced a bill to convert some contracted work to federal performance and otherwise prevent the government from competing federal jobs with the private sector. Mikulski’s “CLEAN UP Act” – short for “Correction of Longstanding Errors in Agencies Unsustainable Procurements Act” – drew applause from unions and criticism from industry groups. But now Senate Republicans are getting in on the act with their own bill designed to do the opposite. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., introduced the “Freedom From Government Competition Act” yesterday. The bill mandates federal agencies rely on the private sector for…

Industry concerned about bill to "CLEAN UP" contracting


Industry is “deeply concerned” about a bill meant to bring work performed by contractors in house, Professional Services Council President Stan Soloway said in a May 5 letter to bill sponsor Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. Mikulski introduced the Correction of Longstanding Errors in Agencies Unsustainable Procurements (CLEAN UP) Act last week. The bill would ban the use of public-private competitions until agencies ensure inherently governmental work and work closely associated with inherently governmental functions is performed by federal employees. Agencies would also have to inventory contracts and give feds the opportunity to compete for outsourced work, even if the work can…

Sen. Mikulski to "CLEAN UP" outsourcing


Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., is expected to introduce a bill tomorrow that will suspend government’s use of public-private competitions for federal work. If Mikulski’s Correction of Longstanding Errors in Agencies Unsustainable Procurements (CLEAN UP) Act becomes law, agencies will be barred from using competition rules set under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 until they implement the following provisions: Amend the A-76 process to include the full cost of conducting a competition, to charge in-house bidders only for actual overhead costs, to abolish automatic re-competition of work won by federal employees, and to impose a firm time limit on…

Lawmakers say stop outsourcing


More lawmakers are calling on the Defense Department and the Office of Management and Budget to stop public-private competitions for federal work, which are conducted under OMB Circular A-76. House Armed Services Committee chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo. and Readiness Subcommittee chairman Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, sent a pair of letters to OMB Director Peter Orszag and Defense Secretary Robert Gates on March 26. The letters urge them to stop using the circular and to conduct a review of competitive sourcing to ensure it’s the right thing for the government.  The two House Democrats believe that competitive sourcing has become “a mandate…

Breaking: West Point to outsource 300 jobs


The United States Military Academy will outsource more than 300 public works jobs to the private sector, the university announced today. Ginn Group, a Peachtree City, Ga. company, was selected to provide public works and maintenance services to the Army’s West Point, N.Y. campus. The decision is tentative and will be subject to a 20-day review period during which losing bidders can protest to the Government Accountability Office. The estimated cost savings will be released following that 20-day period, a USMA spokesman said.

Congressmen call for halt to competition for West Point jobs


Congress and the White House have 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 completely. Approximately 570 public works and custodial employees at the U.S. Military Academy will learn the fate of their jobs next week when a two-year long public-private competition for their jobs is expected to conclude. Two members of congress are urging the Defense Department to cancel the competition before a decision is announced. In a March 18 letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Reps. John Hall,…

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