Feds don’t take kindly to competition

Bush has, for the most part, either given in to proposals that grow government or proposed government-growing programs himself. One exception is his competitive sourcing initiative, which aims to bring the benefits of competition to the federal government. But now there’s this: House members passed, by a vote of 210 to 187, legislative language that would prevent federal agencies from using fiscal 2005 funds to run public-private job competitions under the terms in the Office of Management and Budget’s May 2003 modification of Circular A-76. Administration officials issued the rewrite last year partly in an attempt to address concerns aired by federal employee unions. But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and union leaders argued that the rewrite of Circular A-76 introduces significant inequities to competitive sourcing, a controversial management initiative aimed at allowing contractors to bid on thousands of federal jobs considered commercial in nature.