Biz groups want Congress to protect outsourcing

A group of business and taxpayer organizations is urging Congress to strengthen outsourcing and limit insourcing language in the upcoming fiscal 2012 appropriations bills.

The 31 organizations in the Business Coalition for Fair Competition are seeking support for provisions in the bills that uphold competitive sourcing and increased contracting with the private sector, according to a June 22 news release.

Such bills ought to be “free of damaging language that inhibits the ability of federal agencies to contract with the private sector, including small business,” the group said.

Competitive sourcing, a policy advanced by the George W. Bush administration, refers to federal agencies’ option to outsource certain activities if the private sector can perform them more cost-effectively than the government can. Those public/private competitions are generally conducted using methodologies outlined in the Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-76.


Related stories:

Officials change tone on insourcing

Commentary: How outsourcing keeps America on top


The coalition maintains that expanding outsourcing and reducing insourcing would strengthen private job creation and innovation. However, supporters of insourcing have argued that federal contracting has grown too quickly and contractors might now be performing work more appropriately handled by federal employees.

The coalition sent a letter to Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, expressing support for two recent amendments related to Circular A-76 in the spending bills for the Homeland Security and Agriculture departments. They also advocated that similar action be taken on upcoming bills.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) introduced an amendment to the spending bill for DHS that strikes down a proposed moratorium on certain Circular A-76 competitions at the agency. Sessions’ amendment was approved by a vote of 218-204, the coalition said.

Sessions also sponsored an amendment to the USDA budget bill that withdraws certain requirements that must be met before the agency can conduct Circular A-76 competitions. That amendment was approved by a vote of 226-199.

Appropriations bills for defense, energy and water development, and financial services are pending, but all contain language restricting Circular A-76 competitions, according to the coalition.

Organizations signing the letter include the Northern Virginia Technology Council, TechAmerica, Associated General Contractors of America and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • People
    Dr. Ronny Jackson briefs the press on President Trump

    Uncertainty at VA after nominee withdraws

    With White House physician Adm. Ronny Jackson's withdrawal, VA watchers are wondering what's next for the agency and its planned $16 billion health IT modernization project.

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.