Letter to Senate on FY 04 DOI Appropriations
October 27, 2003
The Honorable C.W. "Bill" Young
Committee on Appropriations
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Young:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million organizations of all sizes, sectors and region, urges you to delete anticompetition provisions contained in the House and Senate passed FY04 Department of Interior (DOI) Appropriations bills. In particular, we are concerned about Sections 335 and Section 336 of the House bill (H.R. 2691) and a provision in Title II of the Senate bill (S.1391), all of which limit competitive sourcing practices with the Department.
These provisions are highly inappropriate and create a significant limitation on the management flexibility of the Department. Competitive sourcing not only is an opportunity for Federal agencies to improve the efficiency of their operations, but also saves taxpayer dollars, and provides an entryway for small businesses into the federal contracting arena. In addition, of the 2,500 positions that the Department already has analyzed for competitive sourcing, not one federal employee has been involuntarily dismissed from his or her job. Furthermore, the House Committee on Appropriations recognized in its report that DOI has conducted its competitive sourcing program with transparency and responsibility.
An alternative to these anti-competition provisions is an amendment offered by Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY) and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) adopted during Senate floor debate, which provides agency accountability along with the appropriate congressional oversight. We urge you, as a conferee, to adopt this balanced provision and to delete the adverse, arbitrary anticompetition provisions that would limit the agency's ability to properly manage itself.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce