Congressman wants to halt insourcing

A Republican congressman wants the Obama administration to declare a moratorium on insourcing across the government until the Office of Federal Procurement Policy issues its proimsed guide on the topic.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, (R-SC), also wants agencies to publish their rationale for insourcing contractor jobs and to give the public a chance to comment on it. Mulvaney is the chairman of the Small Business Committee’s contracting and workforce subcommittee.

He said at a hearing June 23 that will be sending the written testimony and transcripts of the hearing to OFPP officials along with other suggestions for the insourcing policy.

Mulvaney’s hearing focused on the impact insourcing has on small businesses. He said he intends to both investigate instances where agencies’ decisions on insourcing hurt small businesses and find ways to get the Small Business Administration involved in the insourcing debate.

At the hearing, Jacque Simon, public policy director for the American Federation of Government Employees, defended insourcing. She said the government has seen the success of insourcing through saving taxpayer money and providing a more transparent approach to budgets and spending. She also said the federal employees have to be ready to take on new work or different work if the agency needs it. Their jobs entail “other duties assigned” beyond their basic job. Meanwhile, contractors force the government into negotiations whenever a contract needs a change or adjustment.

On the other hand, Bonnie Carroll, owner and president of Information International Associates from Oak Ridge, Tenn., said insourcing has decreased opportunities for small businesses and can take away their contracts, even for work that is not considered an inherently government function, or a job only a federal employee can do.

She and others who testified at the hearing said the government doesn’t give details on pricing comparisons or other factors on how insourcing the work is a benefit to the government.

About the Author

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

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