We've blogged about both projected growth in outsourcing by the federal government and concerns over a lack of oversight into such outsourcing.
At the heart of the controversy over increased outsourcing by the feds is the A-76 process which, although ostensibly designed to save the government money and improve efficiency, has been linked to problems -- including the scandal at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
And now, according to an article in the Federal Times, a majority Democratic Congress has moved to shield nearly 3,000 federal jobs from outsourcing.
A measure authored by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.), and included in an emergency appropriation to provide added funding for the Iraq War, deems some 2,800 jobs at the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Energy Department's National Energy Technology Laboratory "inherently governmental" and thus not open to bidding from outside contractors.
The goal, says Byrd in a written statement, is to ensure that "corporate contracting profits are not driving the safety and health decisions that directly impact the lives of our coal miners."
Yet barring jobs from outside contractors makes it more difficult for the government to find workers with the right blend of skills for some jobs, contends the president of the Professional Services Council, a trade association of government contractors.
The feds aren't the only ones taking a hard look at government contracts. As reported in the Connecticut Post, state legislators are mulling a bill that would award preference to contractors that perform services in the U.S., among other measures designed to protect American jobs.
A staff attorney for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association says that the legislation is unnecessary because state law already gives preference to contractors based in Connecticut.