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 employeesâ€™ 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 appropriationsÂ bills, applauded the lawmakers. AFGE President John Gage said:
The A-76 process is clearly brokenâ€¦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 OMBâ€™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 employeeÂ unions because the estimates do not include the planning costs for the competitions.