Letter on Competitive Sourcing Provisions in Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Bill
October 27, 2005
The Honorable Jerry Lewis
Chairman, House Appropriations Committee
U. S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Lewis:
As you engage in conference discussions on H.R. 3058, the FY 2006 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations bill, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, urges you to strike Senate Section 843 and House Section 953. Both of these sections enact severe and unnecessary barriers to the competitive sourcing initiative and limit the ability of agencies and departments to make reasoned management decisions.
Senate Section 843 mandates the use of full public-private competitions for all functions performed by ten or more employees, forces the private sector to "win" competitions by 10% or $10 million, and explicitly permits insourcing through the use of public-private competitions. This section effectively requires all competitions to be decided on the basis of cost, which negates the use of commonsense management decisions to improve agency performance.
House Section 953 restricts the use of funds to implement the May 2003 revised OMB Circular A-76. Adoption of this section would represent a reversal of current policy—developed over time through extensive dialogue with all stakeholders—that would disadvantage agencies and taxpayers by reverting to an ineffective process that simply did not work and lacked credibility.
Public-private competitions, through the competitive sourcing process, have saved the government billions of dollars and required government agencies to become more efficient. Fewer companies are choosing to enter competitions because of the long, arduous process with seemingly little chance for success in the end. We need fewer restrictions and obstacles, not more, to fully realize the benefits of public-private competitions and the competitive sourcing initiative.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes Senate Section 843 and House Section 953 in the FY 2006 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations bill and asks that you support the American taxpayer by removing this language during conference negotiations.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
cc: Members of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development the Judiciary, District of Columbia.