REPUBLICANS PUT PRESSURE ON BIDEN TO IDENTIFY OUTSOURCING OPPORTUNITIES
House Republicans are requesting additional information from the Biden Administration on whether federal agencies can outsource more of their work to reduce spending. Republicans believe that agencies may be increasingly adding to their workforces to conduct functions that are not “inherently governmental”, adding to government overhead. The group is also concerned that the administration is failing to compile annual lists of non-inherently governmental activities on an agency-by-agency basis as required by the 1998 Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act. Lawmakers state that the FAIR Act reports are necessary for “sound federal financial stewardship,” and are asking that the Office of Management and Budget work with them to ensure full compliance with the law. Contractors should review any FAIR Act reports that may be issued to identify potential business opportunities. Notably, the last several annual omnibus appropriations bills have included prohibitions on using the A-76 outsourcing process, as well as any other effort to study public-private competitions. That may change now that Republicans control the House and there is a slim Democratic Senate majority. Republicans traditionally believe that the government saves money when functions are outsourced, while Democrats claim the opposite. While it is undeniable that it is faster to hire and fire contractors, industry must balance the potential for increased work with harm that may come from upsetting critical customer relationships. While it is unlikely that the Biden Administration will support A-76 competitions, contractors can conduct market research now and identify potential opportunities that may become possible with a change in the political landscape.