INSOURCING

Could pending insourcing guidance help small businesses?

OMB has nine months to publish procedures for small business insourcing

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s request for comment on cost comparisons might be a plus for small businesses, despite potentially leading to more insourcing of federal work, according to FCW.com. It means that more serious consideration is being made about how agencies’ decision-making affects small businesses.

The Office of Management and Budget, as required by Congress, will release the procedures that officials use in deciding to insource work from small businesses. Another goal of lawmakers is to figure out how officials select contracts for conversion from the private sector to federal employees. The deadline is in September, FCW said.

In a Federal Register notice issued Feb 15, Joe Jordan, Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator, asked for input on additional factors that agencies should think about when potentially insourcing work from small businesses, and whether they should be treated differently than large contractors when an agency looks into insourcing.

Going forward will be tricky, FCW pointed out. Agencies need to save money, which means they sometimes have to rely on their own employees, and yet these agencies are instructed to support small businesses. “Given that insourcing is ongoing and is currently affecting many small businesses, putting these issues on the table for discussion is a positive step,” FCW quoted Steven Koprince, a government contracts attorney, as saying.

Insourcing has been detrimental to small businesses for the past several years, decreasing a company’s revenue, and not allowing companies to compete for work in the way that recompeting would allow. The House wanted to prevent agencies from insourcing small businesses’ work until they had published their procedures, and the Office of Management and Budget will now have nine months to publish this information, FCW said. 

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