House, Senate lawmakers take aim at administration's competitive sourcing goal

House, Senate lawmakers take aim at administration's competitive sourcing goal

The Bush administration's competitive sourcing initiative faces serious opposition on Capitol Hill.

In the fiscal 2003 Treasury-Postal Service appropriations bill it approved last week, the House included an amendment that would prohibit the Office of Management and Budget from setting goals or quotas for competing federal jobs. The Senate, which still must vote on its bill, has included the same provision.

One of the five items in the President's Management Agenda calls for boosting competitive outsourcing, and the administration set a 15 percent goal of competing more than 127,500 federal jobs by October 2003.

President Bush has threatened to veto any bill banning competitive sourcing quotas.

OMB earlier this month issued a statement that said the provision would 'effectively shut down' the initiative.

'Now is the wrong time to short-circuit implementation of the commonsense principle of competition ' especially since numerous agencies are starting to make real progress,' the statement said. 'Prohibiting the funding for public-private competitions is akin to mandating a monopoly regardless of the impact on services to citizens and added costs to taxpayers.'

The House bill also could hamstring another management agenda item. The bill includes $5 million for the government's e-government fund. The president's budget proposal sought $45 million for the fund run by the General Services Administration. The bill also would move the fund to the Executive Office of the President. The Senate version left the request intact.

OMB's statement said central funding is important to improve efficiency as the government consolidates redundant systems.

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