OMB: 126,000 fed jobs could be outsourced

More than one-fifth of 556,000 jobs identified in a congressionally mandated inventory of government activities can be outsourced, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

OMB released Jan. 3 the third inventory of 2001 required under the 1998 Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act. The jobs deemed not inherently governmental are potentially open to public-private competition.

OMB's third inventory catalogs 556,084 positions at 17 agencies, of which 126,078, or 22.7 percent, are designated as not inherently governmental.

For the year, OMB has reviewed 108 agencies with about 1 million positions, of which more than 428,000 were not inherently governmental.

Agencies releasing their lists in the latest round include the Agriculture, Justice, Labor, Transportation and Treasury departments and the General Services and Social Security administrations. Every agency except the CIA lists such jobs on its Web site.

One agency conspicuously missing from the inventories is the Defense Department, which opens more positions to outsourcing than any other department. A Defense Department spokeswoman said the inventory went to OMB within the deadline.

An OMB spokeswoman said Defense Department jobs will be part of a fourth set of inventories due later this year, and that its size is a reason why it has taken so long to review.

The Bush administration hopes to open at least 5 percent of all noninherently governmental jobs to private-sector competition this year and 10 percent by 2003.

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