OMB Releases Outsourcing List

The Office of Management and Budget released Nov. 14 this year's second list of government jobs that are not inherently governmental and could be performed by contractors under the 1998 Federal Activities and Inventory Reform Act.

Agencies were required to file their inventories of nongovernmental jobs with OMB June 30. OMB reviews the lists and releases them in three rounds annually.

Thirty-four government organizations were included in the second round, including the Commerce, Education and Interior departments, and smaller organizations such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Federal Communications Commission.

OMB did not provide the number of jobs included in the second list, or say which could be performed by the private sector. A review of OMB's list of Web site links to agencies revealed that some, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, had made available their fiscal year 2000 inventories, but had not yet posted their 2001 inventories.

Others, such as the Commerce Department, reported that 67.8 percent, or 18,214 full-time positions are inherently governmental, and 32.2 percent, or 8,656 full-time positions, are commercial in nature. The Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled said none of its activities are commercial in nature.

The FAIR Act requires each federal agency to submit annually to OMB a list of job activities that are not inherently governmental. Following OMB review and consultation with the head of the agency, the lists are published in the Federal Register.

When an agency executive considers contracting out jobs on the list, he or she must use a competitive process to select the contractor, making sure that public-private cost comparisons take into account all costs, including overhead such as benefits and insurance.

Inherently governmental functions involve the interpretation and execution of U.S. laws. Nongovernmental functions typically include gathering information or providing recommendations to the federal government, and internal functions such as facilities operations and maintenance and building security.

The OMB announcement of the agency inventories is available at

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