Officials change tone on insourcing

Officials say they never intended for massive insourcing, and the administration has not let it happen.

“We’re changing tactics just a little bit,” he told a group of government officials and industry executives today at the Coalition for Government Procurement's Spring Conference.

In speeches before industry this week, senior federal officials have attempted to allay worries of companies by pointing out that they have not gone as far as expected on insourcing federal work.

“There have been a lot of misunderstandings” about changes in the government's relationship with contractors, Dan Gordon, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said in the first eight minutes of his hourlong speech March 15. “A year ago, I think people thought we were on the verge of massive insourcing.”

“We never intended to do massive insourcing, and I think the record now demonstrates that,” he said, speaking at the Integrated Resources Management Conference.

Shay Assad, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy at the Defense Department, said DOD is stepping back somewhat from its intent to insource roughly 10,000 workers for its acquisition workforce over a span of several years.


Related story:

Insourcing initiative might be losing steam


DOD has insourced roughly 3,000 people so far, but defense officials are not striving for its stated goal of insourcing 10,000 employees. Instead, he wants a more intentional move from now on.

“We want to make sure when we make the decision [to insource] that, in fact, it is an inherently governmental function that we’re asking someone to do and secondly that it is critical and needed,” he said.

Furthermore, to make any more insourcing moves, it would have to be approved by Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Assad also expects a slowdown in insourcing.

However, DOD will continue its aggressive approach to build the acquisition workforce through the department’s direct hiring authority. DOD wants to hire 10,000 employees through that authority and has brought in roughly 6,000 people.

The direct hiring authority allows DOD officials to avoid the morass of the federal hiring process.

Since President Barack Obama arrived at the White House, companies, especially small businesses, have feared a growing possibility that they would lose their work. He issued a procurement policy memo soon after his inauguration that told agencies to bring work back into the government and decrease the use of contractors. The Office of Management and Budget issued further policies on accomplishing that in mid-2009. In March 2010, Gordon’s office issued a draft of a policy letter on how to determine if a job would be insourced. The policy even delved into blurry territory of insourcing a “critical function,” a very generic term that concerned many people.

Times have changed now.

Tom Davis, a former chairman of the House Government Reform Committee and one of the drafters of the Services Acquisition Reform Act, said the administration has to move toward the middle and because officials have laid out their agenda, they now have to put it to work.

“The Obama administration is in a governance mode,” he said this morning during the Coalition’s conference. “Things are coming back to normal.”

Congress is also viewing insourcing a little differently. The fiscal 2008 National Defense Authorization Act included a provision that allowed DOD to insource work. However, it was meant for bringing in inherently governmental functions, or jobs only a federal employee is allowed to do, and similar critical jobs, said a staff member on the House Armed Services Committee.

Speaking today at the coalition’s conference, Cathy Garman, a professional staff member of that committee, said the panel agrees with DOD insourcing policy, but it’s still cautious. Based on her briefings with defense officials, Garman said she realizes the department has not figured out how to best use the insourcing tools to its benefit.

“Anything that is focused on arbitrary goals and arbitrary savings sometimes drives bad decisions, and we have seen many bad decisions,” she said.

NEXT STORY: Krumbholz writes Networx blog

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.