GAO questions competitive sourcing plans

Comptroller general David Walker

Henrik G. DeGyor

Neither the Bush administration's efforts to open some federal jobs to competition from the private sector nor Congress' plans for competitive sourcing meet the recommendations of the Commercial Activities Panel, the comptroller general has concluded.

The administration's goal to open 15 percent of federal jobs to private competition by October 2003 is not based on 'considered research and sound analysis,' said David Walker, the General Accounting Office's chief, in a letter to Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio). GAO released the letter last week.

A competitive sourcing goal should be based on a review of historical data about outsourcing activity combined with an analysis of market trends, said Walker, who was chairman of the panel.

Meanwhile, he said, the language in the Treasury and General Government appropriations bill could be construed to prohibit use of any goals, even those based on sound research and trends.

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