Byrd delays OFPP nominee

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) has placed a temporary hold on the confirmation process for David Safavian because the senator wants to meet with him to discuss the possible outsourcing of federal jobs, according to Byrd's press secretary.

Safavian is President Bush's nominee to take over as administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. He would succeed Angela Styles, who left the post last year to return to a private law practice.

Byrd is concerned about the Bush administration's emphasis on competitive sourcing, in which private-sector companies can compete to take over work performed by federal employees. The process is guided by Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76. Styles was a leading champion of the process during her tenure as OFPP administrator.

Byrd has made a habit of meeting with nominees who would have a role in advancing the competitive sourcing initiative, said press secretary Tom Gavin. The senator had put a hold on the process for Clay Johnson, who had been nominated to become OMB's deputy director of management, Gavin noted.

"They had a good meeting, Sen. Byrd and Mr. Johnson," he said. After the meeting, Byrd lifted the hold and Johnson was confirmed.

"The meeting would be for an exchange of views," Gavin said. Nothing has been scheduled with Safavian yet, he said.

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