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OFPP Admin Says Fed Contractor Work Bill Promotes Insourcing

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A recent bill that would limit contractors’ from completing work that is considered an inherently governmental job “sweeps away sensible and thoughtful,” Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Dan Gordon said to Federal Computer Week.

The bill that Gordon, senators and White House officials seem to be disagreeing on is now a part of a consolidated legislation, which the Senate has started to debate.

Gordon indicated that, if passed, the bill would result in a dramatic shift of insourcing. He also explained to FCW why he opposes the bill, saying, “it is inconsistent with our approach that is set out in a policy letter that we issued,” Gordon said.

In Gordon’s eyes, this bill does not match with the administration’s hiring tendencies. He indicated that hiring should be, “sensible,” and that “this bill would sweep away sensible and thoughtful, and say just insource everything to the maximum extent practicable.”

Already, governmental functions are limited to federal employees and this possible new law could restrict contractors’ work further by being barred from closely associated jobs as well. There have been clarifications recently released to better identify who can do certain jobs and outline the idea that sensitive government work should stay within the federal workforce.

While contractors can still do work closely associated with what is deemed “government only,” FCW reported Gordon does not see a reason to reserve this work for federal employees. The answer, according to Gordon, is having good management that can effectively delegate and oversee who is allowed to do what work and if they are following these rules.

The White House indicated that it is not saying contractors will not or should not used. Contractors can be used “as long as the agency is giving adequate management attention to ensure contractors are not impinging on the agency’s inherently governmental responsibilities,” the White House said.

The full guidelines are clear in saying what should and should not be done by contractors. However, according to Gordon, what it has been overlooked is that insourcing does not mean the best person will be taking on the job at hand.

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