Anti-outsourcing bill raises ire

An industry group and the White House are protesting a Senate amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2004, which would prohibit conversion of any FAA facilities or functions from federal to private-sector performance.

The Senate passed the bill, S. 824, June 12. The amendment, introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., was approved by a 56-41 vote. The White House has threatened a veto if the provision is included in final legislation approved by Congress.

Lautenberg said the administration has used the A-76 process, which lays out rules for public-private competition of government work, to reclassify most air traffic control work from "inherently governmental" functions that cannot be outsourced to "commercial" functions that can be. He said the amendment would prevent outsourcing of air traffic control jobs.

The Professional Services Council opposed the amendment, saying it prohibits the FAA from conducting public-private competitions to determine the best source for the performance of commercial work that is connected to, but not at the core of, air traffic control and support.


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