IRS adds up FAIR Act jobs

OMB FAIR Act site

The latest round of agency inventories of positions potentially available for outsourcing include thousands of information technology jobs at the Internal Revenue Service.

The 17 listings released Jan. 3 by the Office of Management and Budget are the latest to be released under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 and include positions at the Agriculture, Justice, Labor and Treasury departments. OMB released the other inventory groups for 2001 in September and November.

The FAIR Act requires agencies to list the functions they perform that are commercial in nature and designate the number of positions under each function that could be competed with the private sector and which should be considered exempt.

Several of the current year's inventories were not available at Web addresses provided to OMB, but those that are available highlight the difference among agencies.

For example, Agriculture lists more than 1,100 IT positions as commercial in nature, but makes 885 of them exempt.

Treasury's designations varied greatly from agency to agency. The Bureau of Public Debt listed all 214 of its commercial IT positions as exempt, but the IRS listed more than 6,600 of its almost 20,000 IT positions as available for competition. However, the agency listed more than 9,000 positions that must be performed in-house despite their commercial nature.

These inventories are the basis for an initiative under the President's Management Agenda, released in August 2001, which requires agencies to compete at least 5 percent of their FAIR Act inventory positions in fiscal 2002 and another 10 percent in fiscal 2003.

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