Bush administration privatizers go wild on federal services
The Bush White House, through the Office of Management and Budget, recently recommended the acceleration of the contracting out and privatization of federal jobs in many departments.
The driving force behind these efforts is the view that there is money to be made on services which are provided to the public by government, and that looked at from the business point of view, the government is unfair competition to private business when it provides these services.
The report says, "The President has committed to incrementally opening one-half of these 850,000 FTEs, or 425,000 of the FTE identified on the 2000 FAIR Act inventories, to public-private competition or direct conversion to private sector performance over time."
The FedExec.com website carries the full report, with the following note: "The following document identifies new segments of the federal workforce that could be forced to face public-private competition. After describing its overall plan for public-private competition, OMB reviews 22 agencies' competition lists. See if your job is under consideration."
"Prepared for the July 11, 2001 Meeting of the President's Management Council
"THE OMB COMPETITIVE SOURCING PROGRAM: ANALYSIS of YEAR 2000 FAIR ACT SUBMISSIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMPETITION
"The Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act of 1998 requires departments and agencies to prepare detailed inventories of all in-house commercial activities performed by Federal employees. The inventories allow each agency to determine which activities can be opened to a public-private competition.
"These public-private competitions are governed by OMB Circular A-76. The Circular establishes Federal policy for the performance of recurring commercial activities. It provides guidance and procedures for determining whether these activities should be provided though contract with commercial sources, by in-house resources (using Government facilities and personnel) or through interservice support agreements with other Federal agencies.
"Review of the 2000 FAIR Act inventories identified 850,000 civilian Full-Time Equivalents (FTE) performing commercial work. This figure represents 53% of the government's civilian workforce. The President has committed to incrementally opening one-half of these 850,000 FTEs, or 425,000 of the FTE identified on the 2000 FAIR Act inventories, to public-private competition or direct conversion to private sector performance over time.
"To implement the President's commitment, OMB established a "Competitive Sourcing Initiative." On March 9, 2001, the Deputy Director of OMB issued performance measures for FY 2002 which require agencies to complete public-private competitions or direct conversions (as permitted under OMB Circular A-76) on not less than 5% of the 850,000 FTE listed on the FAIR Act inventory as performing commercial work. The 5% goal for FY 2002 will require public-private competitions or direct conversions of approximately 42,500 of the 850,000 FTE listed on the FAIR Act inventory. For FY 2003, agencies will be required to complete public-private competitions, direct conversions (as permitted under OMB Circular A-76), or privatization (which will be considered on a case-by-case basis) on not less than 10% of the 850,000 FTE listed FAIR Act inventory as performing commercial work. No goals have been established beyond FY 2003."
(Thanks to Matthew Marsh of AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) for this information.)
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