Inventories give insight to workforce

OMB FAIR Act site

This year, government and industry are getting their first full look at exactly how agencies see their workforce as officials release listings of the jobs that industry could perform and those they think should stay in-house.

The Office of Management and Budget this week released the latest round of job listings required under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act of 1998, including inventories from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In past years, the inventories included only those jobs considered to be commercial in nature and that could be available for outsourcing to industry. In fiscal 2001, however, OMB started collecting the inventory of jobs considered inherently governmental for oversight purposes, and this year agencies are releasing those listings as well.

Federal employees have always been able to protest agencies' FAIR Act inventories and challenge a decision to designate a position as commercial. However, industry has long wanted access to the inherently governmental list in order to be able to challenge an agency's decision to keep a function in-house.

The inventories released this week show a split in the information technology functions.

For example, the National Archives and Records Administration lists 11 full-time employee positions for Web site development and maintenance and IT operations as commercial in nature, and they list almost 37 technology positions as inherently governmental.

NSF, meanwhile, lists many more IT functions as commercial than as inherently governmental.

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