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:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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