Letter to House Appropriations to Support FPI Language
July 20, 2004
Honorable C.W. Bill Young
Chairman House 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 regions, urges you to support fair, efficient government contracting procedures during full committee consideration of the FY 2005 Transportation, Treasury, and General Government Appropriations Act. In particular, we respectfully urge you to support the Federal Prison Industries (FPI) reform language inserted by Subcommittee Chairman Istook and oppose language that would hinder efficient competitive sourcing activities.
Language included in the Subcommittee-passed bill would effectively end FPI's preferential status by allowing federal agencies to decide how to best meet their procurement needs by examining existing marketplace opportunities and purchasing products on a competitive basis. It would require FPI to be a more responsible supplier while allowing the private sector to compete fairly for federal contracts by eliminating the requirement that government agencies purchase products and services from FPI. Similar language was enacted as part of the FY04 Transportation, Treasury Appropriations bill and this year the House overwhelmingly passed a comprehensive reform package, H.R. 1829.
We also urge you to oppose language that would mandate the use of OMB Circular A-76 in virtually every case in which consideration is given to converting work from the public to the private sector and change the process for streamlined competitions to significantly disadvantage American businesses. Agencies would no longer be able to make sourcing decisions based on the size or nature of the function and would be prohibited from making logical, common sense investments by imposing cost-saving requirements on the private sector. These requirements skew the evaluation in favor of the government bidder, disadvantage agencies and the taxpayer and effectively slam the door on small businesses.
As you mark-up the FY05 Transportation, Treasury Appropriations bill, we respectfully urge you to advocate a fair, efficient contracting process and place the interest of the taxpayer first by supporting FPI reform language and opposing adverse competitive sourcing language.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
cc. House Committee on Appropriations; House Leadership