Tech group rips anti-outsourcing bill

Washington-area technology lobbying organization CapNet on Monday announced its vigorous opposition to a bill that would impose a moratorium on all government outsourcing and require detailed cost-benefit analyses for each potential project. The organization decided to speak up when it realized how many signatures the bill has collected, said CapNet spokesman Tim Hugo. So far, the bill, known as the Truthfulness, Responsibility, and Accountability in Contracting Act (H.R. 3766) has garnered 196 signatures in the House. However, support does not appear to have increased lately for the bill, which was introduced in March by Rep. Albert Wynn, D-Md. The Senate counterpart, introduced in July by Sen. Chuck Robb, D-Va., has 18 co-sponsors, several of which signed on in September. "Over the last 10 years, we've lost over 430,000 federal employee jobs with no evidence of increased efficiency and no one has been able to show any cost savings, as a result of privatization," said Wynn in an e-mail responding to a reporter's question. "My bill establishes a centralized reporting system to monitor and correct these issues." A congressional source said the bill was unlikely to make it to the House floor with such limited time left in the calendar. Advocates for the bill have said they will pursue equivalent legislation in the next Congress. Hugo criticized the bill as potentially "devastating" for the federal government and the high-tech industry. He also noted that the government workforce is aging and that it is becoming more difficult to attract workers, especially those with high tech-skills, to government jobs. Hugo argued that the legislation "could add more than a year to contracting process of every IT outsource," adding that it is hard to see how that could be an efficiency and cost-saving mechanism.
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