Commentary

Sensless Attack on Federal Privatization Continues

As Government Executive puts it “lawmakers continue to pound public-private job competitions.” An amendment to the 2010 DoD authorization bill would put a stop to competitions giving private firms a chance to win away from government workers contracts to perform commercial services.

Competitions under the rules in the Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-76 “have not been proven to save the taxpayer enough money to justify the enormous strain they put on government offices and personnel,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., the amendment’s sponsor. “We cannot continue to distract individual commands at a time when the services are focused on two wars, trying to implement the 2005 [base realignment and closure] round, and undergoing transformational initiatives.”

I’d laugh if I could stop crying. Oh, pity the poor federal workers who might have to prove their efficiency once every few years. The strain is just to much. I’m sure all of you out there who don’t work for the government and have to compete for your job every stinking day at work feel nothing but sympathy. Only members of Congress, themselves completely divorced from the reality of life in the private sector, could fall for this line of baloney from federal employee unions.

And “have not been proven to save the taxpayers enough money”??!! Last I looked, competitive sourcing had saved $7.2 billion over the last 5 years. How much is enough, Congressman Langevin?

This is a program that works, and it will work better as the government gets better at doing it. It will lead to more and better services and taxpayer savings. The only opponents are the public employee unions. Let’s hope Congress comes to its senses and puts our interests ahead of those of federal workers.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Moore leads Reason's policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities.

Moore, who has testified before Congress on several occasions, regularly advises federal, state and local officials on ways to streamline government and reduce costs.

In 2008 and 2009, Moore served on Congress' National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission. The commission offered "specific recommendations for increasing investment in transportation infrastructure while at the same time moving the Federal Government away from reliance on motor fuel taxes toward more direct fees charged to transportation infrastructure users." Since 2009 he has served on California's Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission.

Mr. Moore is co-author of the book Mobility First: A New Vision for Transportation in a Globally Competitive 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, "Speaking from our experiences in Texas, Sam Staley and Adrian Moore get it right in Mobility First." World Bank urban planner Alain Bartaud called it "a must read for urban managers of large cities in the United States and around the world."

Moore is also co-author of Curb Rights: A Foundation for Free Enterprise in Urban Transit, published in 1997 by the Brookings Institution Press, as well as dozens of policy studies. His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Orange County Register, as well as in, Public Policy and Management, Transportation Research Part A, Urban Affairs Review, Economic Affairs, and numerous other publications.

In 2002, Moore was awarded a World Outsourcing Achievement Award by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Michael F. Corbett & Associates Ltd. for his work showing governments how to use public-private partnerships and the private sector to save taxpayer money and improve the efficiency of their agencies.

Prior to joining Reason, Moore served 10 years in the Army on active duty and reserves. As an noncommissioned officer he was accepted to Officers Candidate School and commissioned as an Infantry officer. He served in posts in the United States and Germany and left the military as a Captain after commanding a Heavy Material Supply company.

Mr. Moore earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. He holds a Master's in Economics from the University of California, Irvine and a Master's in History from California State University, Chico.