OMB defends inventory of government jobs

OMB defends inventory of government jobs

By Christopher J. Dorobek

GCN Staff

The Office of Management and Budget is taking the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act seriously and will use an inventory of federal jobs suggested as possible outsource targets during the budget review process, a senior OMB official said last week.

But the decisions about which projects and jobs can be outsourced will be made by agencies, not by the administration, said David Childs, an OMB senior program examiner.

Job listings

The FAIR Act requires agencies to compile lists of government jobs that could possibly be outsourced to the private sector.

The law, however, does not require that agencies contract out those jobs, Childs said during a forum sponsored by Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va.

OMB released the lists of a number of agencies last month [GCN, Oct. 11, Page 6] and will release another group of lists shortly. It was the first time the government publicly released such an inventory, Childs said.

Childs also defended the various methods used in compiling the lists, which some industry officials and lawmakers have criticized because there is no standard format and no single administration contact.

Childs noted that the law directs the agencies, not OMB, to create the lists.

There is no directive that OMB review it or decide whether jobs involve inherently governmental work, he said.

OMB will carefully monitor agencies and track how the lists are used, Childs said.

Industry groups have 30 days to comment on a list after it is made public, and Childs encouraged their review.

'I can't police 1.3 million employees,' Childs said.

'You've got to challenge the inventories.'

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