Several senior House Oversight and Accountability Committee members this week asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for details on the degree to which the Federal government is living up to its legal requirements for outsourcing government work to the private sector as a way to generate cost savings.
Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Lisa McClain R-Mich., and Pete Sessions, R-Texas asked OMB to address how the Biden administration has acted on the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act to reach cost saving measures.
The 1998 law requires Federal agencies to submit to OMB annual reports of inventories of commercial activities performed by Federal employees.
“At a time of surging annual deficits, the Administration should be using all cost-saving tools at its disposal – including outsourcing functions that can be performed more efficiently by the private sector,” said the lawmakers in their letter to OMB Director Shalanda Young.
The House members said in the letter that the FAIR Act “requires each federal agency to annually file with the Office of Management and Budget an inventory of non-inherently governmental activities the agency performs using federal employees,” which can then be used to outsource work to the private sector.
The lawmakers requested information on the number of employees that are conducting “non-inherently governmental functions,” the names of the agencies that have not filed their most-recently required FAIR Act inventories, and a description of agency vetting process for these inventories.
“Use of the inventories in decisions about outsourcing is a needed component of sound federal financial stewardship. We would like to work with OMB going forward to ensure full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the FAIR Act,” the lawmakers said.
The House members asked for a reply to their query by April 14.
Rep. Mace is chairwoman of the Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Government Innovation subcommittee, Rep. McClain is chairwoman of the Healthcare and Financial Services subcommittee, and Rep. Sessions is chairman of the Government Operations and Federal Workforce subcommittee.