Letter to the editor

I've seen a lot of stories recently on President Bush's initiative to create more A-76 competitions ["Focus on competing widens," July 9].

The purpose of this initiative is to save the taxpayer money by allowing the private sector to compete in areas that have been reserved for the public sector in the past. By the same token, in an effort to save the taxpayer money, should the public sector not be competing in areas that have been held by the private sector in the past?

For instance, the Corps of Engineers could perform as the general contractor on their work and subcontract out anything they can't handle. The Agriculture Department could do some commodity brokering. They already have stockpiles of many commodities and access to the most pertinent data.

The U.S. Agency for International Development could broker shipping, the Defense Department could broker information to trouble spots, the Environmental Protection Agency could handle clean-ups (nice to know you'll get EPA clearance on a site going in), etc.

It seems like the government could make billions of dollars doing work that has typically been done by the private sector in the past. Just a thought.

Bradley Hall
USDA

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