Industry Cries UnFAIR

Industry Cries UnFAIR

Steve LeSueur

The federal government is still trying to make up its mind about outsourcing.

Although the 1998 Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act was designed to encourage more outsourcing, many industry officials contend the legislation has done little to put more work in private-sector hands.

"We're somewhat disillusioned with FAIR," Olga Grkavac, executive vice president of the Information Technology Association of America in Arlington, Va., told Staff Writer Patience Wait. Patience talked with many of those who have an interest in this policy debate, in industry, labor and on Capitol Hill.

Those who want to slow the rush toward outsourcing said more study is needed to verify that government agencies will actually save money and operate more effectively if jobs are shifted to the private sector.

A House bill to temporarily suspend outsourcing already has attracted nearly 70 co-sponsors, while the chairman of a key House subcommittee is planning to hold hearings on strengthening FAIR and pushing more jobs from government to industry.

During the presidential campaign, President Bush advocated an increase in outsourcing, but his administration has yet to take any formal action. At stake is potentially billions of dollars of outsourcing work for the IT industry. The debate continues.


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