Job competitions fall short of target

Agencies ended up opening less than half the work planned to private sector bids in fiscal 2006, OMB reports.

The Bush administration fell far short of a plan to open more than 26,000 jobs to public-private competition in fiscal 2006, actually announcing contests that covered fewer than 10,000 positions, according to figures released Thursday by the Office of Management and Budget.

In its annual report on competitive sourcing, OMB said business case and cost-benefit analyses were partially responsible for the drop. Paul Denett, OMB's procurement policy chief, said resistance from Congress also limited agencies' ability to compete work.

Among the limits that Congress has enacted are requirements that agencies not give private sector bidders credit for spending less on employee health benefits, restrictions on the use of "best value" comparisons that take into account performance as well as cost criteria and a ban on using competitive sourcing in rural development and farm loan programs. In a discussion with reporters, Denett called the best value restriction "a travesty," saying it takes a powerful tool out of managers' hands.

But Denett downplayed the difference in the planned and actual 2006 competition figures. "I'm not overly concerned if the actual number that gets done winds up being a little higher or lower. I'm more concerned that the ones that get done are the ones that have the highest likelihood of payoff," he said.

In April 2006, OMB said 26,591 full-time equivalent positions would be listed for public-private competition in fiscal 2006, but the administration reported that only 9,691 positions were covered in 86 new competitions.

Agencies are slated to open 17,944 jobs to private sector bids through new competitions to be announced in fiscal 2007.

In discussing the administration's track record for competitive sourcing, the rules for which were changed in 2003 through revisions to OMB's Circular A-76, Denett stressed that the government has found significant savings from the process.

OMB estimated that the 183 competitions that wrapped up during fiscal 2006 covered 6,678 jobs, for a projected savings of $1.3 billion over 10 years. The in-house federal employee team won 87 percent of those jobs.

Federal employees have won 83 percent of all jobs placed up for competition since 2003. OMB estimated that the savings from those competitions will reach $6.9 billion over 10 years.

Denett stressed that agencies have been successful in most cases in providing soft landings -- early retirement, buyouts, placements in another job at the same or a different agency, or consideration for hiring by the successful private sector bidder. Defense Department competitions have resulted in layoffs in 2.3 percent of civilian positions put up for competition, according to OMB. Denett said the governmentwide layoff rate was not available.

The most popular areas for public-private competition have been maintenance and property management, information technology and logistics, OMB reported.

Some in industry have grown frustrated with the in-house win rate and Congress' intervention in the process. OMB found for 53 percent of jobs placed up for competition between fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2006, there were two or more private sector bids; 30 percent of the jobs under competition during that period received only one company bid, and 17 percent had no bids to counter in-house proposals.

"Conceptually, competition is a great thing," said Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council of Arlington, Va., of the administration's efforts to boost competitive sourcing. But, he said, "implementation has been spotty and poor. Politics has been an issue, and it's really too bad because it's depriving agencies and the customers of those agencies of true competition," he said.

Federal employee unions also have been unhappy with competitive sourcing, but for very different reasons. In a response to the new report, Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, disputed agencies' claims of savings. For example, she said, the report attributed $35 million in savings to an Internal Revenue Service contractor that has missed multiple deadlines.

Kelley also noted that in calculating the cost of running a competition, OMB does not include planning that takes place before it is formally announced, or litigation costs. According to the report, agencies count out-of-pocket expenses like additional contractors required by the competition, but not time spent by employees who would otherwise be used for other work.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.