Competition goals removed

OMB competitive sourcing report

In an effort to appease concerns from Congress, agencies and employee unions, the Bush administration has officially eliminated governmentwide targets from the management initiative to open commercial-like federal functions to competition.

In a report released today, the Office of Management and Budget established new criteria against which agencies will be scored in the competitive sourcing initiative under the President's Management Agenda. The new criteria eliminates a governmentwide goal to open 15 percent of the functions agencies have identified as open to competition to achieve a yellow score and 50 percent to achieve a green score.

"Each agency will have very specific goals of their own," said Angela Styles, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and leader of the competitive sourcing initiative.

Instead, agencies will receive a yellow score if, among other criteria outlined in the report, they have a competitive sourcing plan approved by OMB at the yellow level and have completed or publicly announced at least one competition. OMB will award a green score if agencies have been following a plan approved as green, and have completed the majority of competitions in the 12-month and 90-day timeframes outlined in the revised Circular A-76, which governs the public-private competition process.

Styles released the report at a hearing of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia. A full report outlining every federal agency's competitive sourcing plan will be released in September, which will show exactly what constitutes a competitive sourcing plan that should receive a yellow and green score, Styles said.

Several members of the subcommittee expressed concerns about other issues surrounding the competitive sourcing initiative, such as the capabilities of the federal workforce to conduct the competitions and the level of understanding about what the initiative means for employees' jobs.

However, subcommittee Chairman Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), who held the hearing because of the range of concerns about the administration's initiative, said he was pleased with the decision to officially drop the goals.

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