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The Five Initatives


Examples of Progress

The goal of the President’s Competitive Sourcing Initiative is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of activities the government performs so that taxpayers get more value for their tax dollar. Let me emphasize this, we don’t care about who wins these competitions; we only care that a job is done in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

OMB grades agencies on their competitive sourcing efforts. It’s the only initiative in which every agency is red. But that doesn’t mean we’re not making progress. In fact, many agencies are using this initiative to achieve the efficiencies the initiative is designed to bring about. For example:

  • The Department of Energy announced and initiated private-public competitions involving 1,180 Federal and 1,337 contractor positions. One of those studies, for a graphics activity, is scheduled to be completed in July 2003. To ease fears about its competitive sourcing plans, the Department conducted a town hall A-76 meeting at headquarters, and in the field, with more than 1,000 attendees. The Department also asked its own programs to nominate functional areas to study, like library services, general engineering, and mail delivery and operation.
  • The Bureaus of the Department of the Interior are leading the competitive sourcing initiative. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is studying 372 FTEs in the maintenance of real property function, which will be studied Bureau-wide through the end of 2003. Real property is defined as all lands, roads, recreation sites, dams, buildings, administrative sites (office buildings, warehouses, parking lots, fire stations, communication towers), trails land, and bridges. BLM has also begun one full A-76 cost comparison (approx 153 FTE), 1 Streamlined Cost Comparison (13 FTE) and 43 Express Reviews. The Bureau of Reclamation started 1 full A-76 cost comparison (96 FTE) and 3 Streamlined Cost Comparisons. The National Park Service has 5 on-going full A-76 studies, with a total of 480 FTEs, for 2003. The Fish and Wildlife Service has completed Phase I of a study of approximately 107 Office Automation Clerks throughout the bureau.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a competition of 140 automotive mechanics, which should be completed by September 30, 2003.

These efforts should not only cause us to expand the infrastructure at agencies where they are taking place, they should also teach agencies government-wide how competitive sourcing can be used to improve the way we do business. Agencies with functions like those being subjected to competition should watch closely as their colleagues tear down the barriers to successful public-private competitions.

It will be important to this initiative’s success that agencies share their experiences, failures, and successes with each other. For example, one anonymous agency already discovered the following lessons:

Actions that lead to success:

  • Ensure strong leadership from the top. Ownership by senior management, and the establishment of clear lines of accountability, is vital in implementing this initiative.
  • Form Performance Work Statement (PWS) and Most Efficient Organization (MEO) teams immediately and keep them small.
  • Include contracting officer on PWS teams.
  • Identify a source evaluation panel and the chairperson early, during PWS formation.

Common causes of delays:

  • Slow formation of PWS and MEO teams.
  • PWS and MEO team members fail to meet deadlines.
  • Employees refuse to be interviewed or provide workload data.
  • Employees, managers and supervisors attempt to remove or excluded themselves from studies that affect their own jobs.

These are just some of the lessons learned at one agency. As more and more agencies get further along in this process, we’ll continue to share lessons right here on Results.Gov.

A final note on what lies ahead. In order to make the process easier on everyone, we will be releasing the revised A-76 circular shortly. It promises to make public-private competitions easier and fairer for everyone involved. We are briefing interested parties on the new circular and making tweaks and changes, where necessary, to improve it. Once it is final, there will be period of trial and error as agencies get used to the new procedures. Here at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy we will continue to consult with you, to make sure that you have an understanding of the new processes and the resources needed to institute a productive competitive sourcing effort.

Yours truly,

Angela Styles

The Five Initatives:

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