OMB expert helps Homeland Security tackle A-76

OMB expert helps Homeland Security tackle A-76

The Homeland Security Department has brought in an expert to kick start its competitive sourcing program. David Childs, an Office of Management and Budget senior procurement policy specialist, is on detail to HSD for three months to help the agency build its infrastructure to compete federal jobs with the private sector.

'I'm compiling the inventories, figuring out the targets and doing the planning for the President's Management Agenda,' Childs said. 'We also are looking at all the things we inherited from the component agencies.'

OMB is requiring agencies to compete a certain percentage of their commercial positions by Sept. 30 for an aggregate total of 15 percent across government. Agencies also must hold at least 10 competitions by July 2004 to get to green on the President's Management Agenda, which uses a red, yellow and green grading system to evaluate agency work on five areas, including competitive sourcing and e-government.

Homeland Security inherited a handful of ongoing public-private competitions under OMB Circular A-76 when its 22 component agencies merged. The Coast Guard and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service had started less than five competitions before being transferred, Childs said.

Childs said the challenge will be collecting the inventories and deciding what is commercial but inherently governmental. Agencies must designate positions as inherently governmental or commercial. Within the inherently governmental inventory, there are positions that are commercial but must be done by the government. Because so many of HSD's positions are law enforcement and support law enforcement, he is unsure how many will be available to be competed.

The agency's goal is to finish the inventory by the end of this month and then start developing goals and plans to compete jobs with the private sector, Childs said.

'We have component agencies that have acted independently and some that went through headquarters,' he said. 'We are trying to bring together a big organization.'

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