OMB responds to union A-76 lawsuits

OMB Circular A-76

Federal employee unions are trying to unfairly block federal jobs from competition by filing lawsuits intended to stop new competitive sourcing rules, according to an Office of Management and Budget spokesman.

The National Treasury Employees Union and the American Federation of Government Employees have filed similar federal lawsuits trying to halt implementation of OMB's Circular A-76. The circular, revised in May, guides agencies as they try to determine which of their jobs are commercial and thus could potentially be opened to competition from the private sector.

OMB spokesman Trent Duffy issued the agency's official response to the AFGE suit late on July 3: "While it would be inappropriate to comment on the lawsuit, it is disappointing and unfair that unions are trying to shield hundreds of thousands of jobs from true competition," he wrote in the statement. "The job market in America today is the most competitive it has been in recent memory, and no sector deserves special treatment by being insulated from the competition."

Neither businesses nor government employees should be denied the right to compete for commercial jobs, Duffy wrote.

The lawsuits allege that A-76 imposes more exacting standards to define a job as "inherently governmental" than does the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act. The unions argue that executive branch policy should not supersede the statute.

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