Defense could use new 'best value' competition method under proposal

The Defense Department could use a controversial "best value" method for public-private job competitions under a legislative proposal now before Congress.

The measure would allow Defense to use "best value," and not cost, as the deciding factor in competitions that decide whether federal jobs should be contracted-out to the private sector. A centerpiece of new outsourcing rules created by the Office of Management and Budget, the "best value" method allows noncost factors such as technical performance and reputation to be factored into outsourcing decisions.

Current rules-specifically, Title 10, Section 2462 of the U.S. Code-mandate that job competitions at Defense be decided on the basis of cost, although Defense has managed to hold a kind of "best value" competition before. In its recommendations for the fiscal 2004 Defense authorization bill, the Pentagon urged Congress to amend Section 2462 so job competitions at Defense could be decided by "best value."

"Enactment of this section would improve the DoD's procurement processes by ensuring that Defense considers quality, as well as cost, as a selection factor," a summary of the provision stated. "It would also allow DoD to take advantage of the newly revised OMB Circular A-76 when it is finalized, which, for example, would allow for best value cost-technical tradeoff source selections for information technology functions."

Joe Sikes, Defense's director of competitive sourcing and privatization, said the provision would simply allow the department to use a procurement method that has been endorsed by the General Accounting Office. "We think it gives us more flexibility to make smart decisions," he said.

But a coalition of federal and private sector labor unions oppose Defense's move. Federal unions have long argued that the "best value" selection process is rigged to favor private contractors and will end up wasting taxpayer money.

"At the behest of contractors who are disappointed at winning less than one-half of public-private competitions, Section 824 of the legislative recommendations submitted by DoD calls for the end of objective, cost-based public-private competitions," said a March 19 letter from 13 labor organizations to the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Sen. John Warner, R-Va. The American Federation of Government Employees helped orchestrate the letter.

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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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

    Download
  • 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.

    Download

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