Most agencies on track for competition goals

Angela Styles said she is impressed by the progress agencies are making in meeting President Bush's goal of subjecting government positions to competition.

In the 18 months since the administration started this push, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator said, 23 of 26 agencies under the President's Management Council have had competitive sourcing plans approved by her office.

The administration wants to reach the goal of competitively sourcing 15 percent of all noninherently government jobs by October 2003.

She said she expects the Defense Department to be the first agency to receive a yellow score for competitive sourcing on the President's Management Agenda scorecard. OMB is ranking agency projects red, yellow or green based on their meeting requirements set by the administration. All agencies initially received red scores, the lowest.

'Of all the five management initiatives we have on the table, this is the most difficult one. It is the most complex and most challenging,' Styles said. 'DOD has really started on a good track, but the civilian agencies, with a few minor exceptions, have never gone down this track before.'

She said civilian agencies haven't had to look internally to ask themselves if they could do work better and less expensively.

'We should be asking this question,' Styles said. 'We are not doing a good job of managing our resources until we do ask that question. Our initiative has forced people into asking questions and into managing.'

Can't get lost

For the most part, Styles said, agencies are going down the right path. OFPP officials worked with each agency to establish a competitive sourcing goal that makes sense for the agency. The targets range from 7.5 percent to 20 percent, with the aggregate mark being 15 percent by next fall.

'It is good so far to see the progress,' Styles said. 'From OMB's perspective, it is our turn to deliver on a revised process for public-private competition.'

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