House panel limits new Defense job competitions

The House Armed Services Committee has voted to put a limit on the number of federal jobs the Pentagon may subject to new public-private competitions in fiscal 2002. Only 3,000 Pentagon jobs could be targeted for potential outsourcing next year under a provision in the House Armed Services Military Readiness Subcommittee markup approved last month. The measure was approved by the full committee last week and is now part of the Defense authorization bill (H.R. 2586). While Congress typically appropriates funds for public-private competitions at the Defense Department, it has never before set a limit on the number of Pentagon jobs that can be put up for competition. The committee imposed the limit so the Pentagon would only start competitions it can pay for, according to the report on the bill. "The committee is increasingly concerned with the outsourcing process and believes the agencies and services are under too much budgetary pressure to initiate and complete studies," said the report. "The committee recommends limiting the number of functions to be studied to the funding available to initiate and conduct a study." Under the limit, the Army can start competitions on no more than 328 civilian full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. The Navy may review up to 453 new FTEs, while the Air Force is capped at 936 FTEs and other defense agencies at 1336 FTEs. No civilians working for the Marine Corps may be subject to new competitions. The provision does not affect ongoing Pentagon job competitions. The Defense Department had 399 public-private competitions involving more than 31,000 civilian jobs under way at the end of last year, according to Pentagon figures. Representatives from both federal employee unions and contractor associations agreed the competition limit is at odds with Bush administration plans to open more federal jobs to private sector competition. "We would regard this as a repudiation of the [Bush] administration's overall approach to outsourcing issues," said John Threlkeld, a lobbyist with the American Federation of Government Employees. Threlkeld said that Congress will likely place limits on public-private competitions at other agencies. "As [public-private competitions] are applied in non-Defense agencies, you'll see this happen in federal agencies more and more," he said. George Sigalos, spokesman for the Contract Services Association, said that the committee's action only hurts taxpayers who benefit from public-private competition. "The [Bush] administration wants to open more positions to competition, which ultimately benefits the taxpayer," said Sigalos. "This limit flies in the face of that effort." The Defense authorization bill will be introduced on the House floor after the August recess.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

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

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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