In an article, entitled “White House to seek input on roles of private contractors, federal workers,” the Washington Post reports today that the Obama administration will begin seeking formal input from stakeholders on a pair of questions: What kind of tasks should be performed by federal workers, and which ones can be handled by contractors?
According to the newspaper, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy will publish draft guidelines in Wednesday’s Federal Register to clarify the definition of “inherently governmental functions,” or jobs that should be performed by government workers instead of private contractors. The draft says that such tasks are so directly tied to the public interest that they must be done by government workers.
Those tasks include setting agency policy, hiring workers, awarding contracts and performing other core roles, such as inspectors at the Labor Department or airport security screeners with the Department of Homeland Security.
But the guidelines also seek to define tasks that could be performed by either private- or public-sector workers, such as providing technical assistance to government officials evaluating contracts or managing an agency’s information-technology infrastructure.
The administration hopes to have final guidelines by the fall, after hearing from agencies, contractors, federal workers and their unions over the next two months.
The article also quotes representatives of both contracting firms and government employees applauding this initiative.