House panel proposes adding experts to competitive sourcing

Personnel and readiness undersecretary would get preliminary planning responsibilities

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Bob McKeon (R-Calif.) has proposed that a broader segment of senior Defense Department officials get involved in the competitive sourcing process that pits the private sector against the public sector for federal government work.

McKeon wants to give the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness the responsibility to issue guidance and procedures for preliminary planning for competitions between contractors and federal employees, according to a committee document released May 9 with descriptions of provisions in the forthcoming fiscal 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. The exact language has not been released.

“The committee believes that preliminary planning for public-private competitions should include an increased and more active role for the manpower and personnel communities, which have greater expertise in determining manpower requirements, whether military, civilian, or contractor personnel,” the report states.

The undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics is now responsible for all elements of public-private competitions, which are under the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76.

The undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics still would conduct the acquisition component of the process because the necessary procurement expertise.

In more proposed changes, the committee would like to have the undersecretary for acquisition realign the responsibility for the competitions from the deputy undersecretary for installations and environment to the director of defense for procurement and acquisition policy.

Meanwhile, it’s early in the process for making the authorization bill law. The Armed Services Committee has yet to approve the bill, and the Senate has not released its version of the measure.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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