U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) has introduced the Correction of Longstanding Errors in Agencies Unsustainable Procurements (CLEAN UP) Act,legislation that aims to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in the federal contracting out process. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.
“Year after year, I’ve fought to improve the contracting out process and make the competition process fair before federal jobs are contracted out,” Senator Mikulski said, “Our federal employees are on the front lines every day, working hard for America. They deserve our respect and appreciation. I will not stop fighting to level the playing field for federal employees and to protect them against unfair contracting out policies.”
“Over the last decade, we have been much too quick to outsource many of government’s most basic functions,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “The desire to do so reflected a political ideology of shrinking the government workforce – even if it meant diminishing the quality or increasing the cost of government services.”
The CLEAN UP Act will build on Senator Mikulski’s efforts to level the playing field for federal employees by:
- Ensuring that work that meets the statutory and regulatory definitions of inherently governmental or closely related to inherently governmental is actually performed by federal employees.
- Encouraging agencies to give federal employees opportunities to perform new work and certain types of outsourced work, including work that was contracted out without competition and work that is contracted out but is being poorly performed.
- Requiring agencies to establish inventories of specific contracts identical to the one already developed by the Department of Defense. The inventory would be used to determine, among other things, which contracts include inherently governmental work, which contracts were awarded without competition, and which contracts are being poorly performed.
- Tasking agencies to determine whether they are now experiencing or will in the future experience shortages of categories of federal employees and devise plans for addressing those shortages.
- Reforming the discredited OMB Circular A-76 privatization process by ensuring all costs of conducting studies are considered, charging in-house workforces only for actual overhead costs, abolishing automatic recompetition of in-house workforces, and imposing firm time limits on studies.
- Imposing a temporary suspension on the use of the OMB Circular A-76 privatization process until the OMB Director and the Inspectors General of the five largest agencies determine that all of the reforms required by this measure have been substantially implemented.