Union urges Congress not to pass outsourcing bill
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Mar 14, 2018
Lawmakers this week will review a bill that encourages the federal government to seek private contractors for goods and service in cases where it can be performed cheaper and more efficiently outside of the federal government, and one major federal employee union isn’t pleased.
“Essentially, the bill would allow politically well-connected businesses to take over most of government responsibilities, opening the door to mission failure, the corrupting influence of politics, and conflicts of interest,” the American Federation of Government Employees posted on its website. “Contractors are two to three times more expensive than federal employees doing the same work, so the taxpayers would be on the hook for higher costs,” the group added.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is scheduled to markup the Freedom from Government Competition Act of 2018 on March 15.
The legislation in a sense would codify the “Yellow Pages” test, which says that if the federal government is doing something that can be found in the Yellow Pages, the product or service should be subject to market competition to ensure better value for the taxpayer.
However, AFGE contends that the bill is a waste of taxpayer money and would be a “tremendous and unnecessary” expense.
In a letter to the chair and ranking member of the committee, AFGE said, “Unlike contractors, federal employees perform government services on a not-for-profit basis…In an era where the integrity of government is constantly threatened by politics, the last think Congress should do is expand the role of unaccountable and politically-connected contractors.”
AFGE also noted a number of ways it believes that private business are attempting to takeover government functions, including working to repeal a governmentwide ban on outsourcing studies, reclassify hundreds of thousands of federal jobs so that they could be outsourced, and speeding up the outsourcing process.