House approves move against competitive sourcing

Lawmakers approved an amendment this week to the House's Treasury Transportation Appropriations bill that would prevent those departments from using the revised A-76 circular that governs competitive sourcing.

Language offered by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) passed a House floor vote Sept. 21 evening by a margin of 23 votes; the final tally was 210-187.

This year marks the second consecutive year that the House has voted for an amendment written by Van Hollen regarding A-76. The rules on competitive sourcing of federal workforce jobs underwent extensive revision last year following pressure from Congress and federal worker unions.

In a statement of administrative policy issued earlier this month, Bush administration officials threatened a presidential veto should the rider be attached to the final bill.

In Congress' other chamber, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) successfully attached a rider earlier this month to the Senate version of the Treasury Transportation bill. Her amendment would prevent any federal agency from using fiscal 2005 funds to implement competitive sourcing studies under the revised circular. The bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee but must clear the Senate floor. A vote is not yet scheduled.

As one of five initiatives of the President's Management Agenda, competitive sourcing encourages agencies to cut costs by forcing federal employees uninvolved in core government functions to compete a most efficient organization strategy against private-sector bids to do the same work.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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