OMB to propose FAIR Act process changes

The Office of Management and Budget will soon propose changes to Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act regulations, giving federal workers more time to protect their jobs from being targeted for outsourcing-and giving contractors more time to challenge agencies' contentions that certain work must be performed by civil servants.

Under the FAIR Act, federal agencies last year identified about 900,000 jobs currently held by government workers that could be performed in the private sector. Private companies hope the FAIR Act lists will lead to more work being outsourced, and more dollars being spent on their products and services.

Last year, federal workers and contractors could appeal the designation of jobs within 30 calendar days from when the agency made the FAIR Act list available. OMB is proposing to give people 30 working days to submit appeals when agencies update the lists later this year.

Federal unions and contractors challenged the designations of thousands of jobs in 1999, but agencies changed only a handful in either direction.

OMB is also planning to give agencies more guidance on how to structure their FAIR Act lists, which were released in a wide variety of formats last year. In addition, agencies will be required to post their lists on their Web sites (As in 1999, will provide a comprehensive list of all the FAIR Act lists online at

Contractor groups have been briefed on the upcoming changes by Deidre Lee, the outgoing chief of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

Contractors want OMB to require agencies to release lists of jobs that are considered inherently governmental, not just positions that could be outsourced, said Felix Martinez, the director of procurement programs at the American Consulting Engineers Council.

"There's no way for us to figure out what the omissions from the list are," Martinez said.

But OMB decided not to make that change.

Next week, the engineers council, along with other contractor groups, is participating in a press conference on Capitol Hill calling for agencies to outsource more jobs. Martinez said several members of Congress will be on hand to criticize the administration's handling of the FAIR Act, including Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr., R-Tenn., and Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo.

OMB will publish the proposed changes to the FAIR Act regulations in an upcoming edition of the Federal Register.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.