"Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) is questioning whether the Office of Management and Budget needs to amend rules for determining if inherently commercial functions performed by government employees should be outsourced under the administration's Lines of Business Consolidation Initiative.
Platts, chairman of the Government Reform subcommittee on Government Management, Finance and Accountability, in a letter today to OMB controller Linda Combs asked if the administration was considering changing Circular A-76 - which details how agencies should compete commercial tasks against the private sector - if agencies outsource their financial management services to a private company.
'If OMB Circular A-76 is to be discarded or changed for purposes of this initiative, will the alternative process or the changed A-76 circular be consistent with the laws established to require public-private competition before conversion to contractor performance?' Platts asked.
Platts sent the letter after holding a hearing on OMB's initiative to encourage agencies to consider turning over their financial management services to both public and private centers of excellence (COEs). At the hearing, Platts raised concerns over how publicly funded COEs could compete against the private sector because of inequities built into the law that may hamper an agency COE from investing in capital improvements, including technology refresh. "