Pentagon Moves Against Conversion of In-house Work to Contractors

December 7, 2011

The Defense Department early this month reminded its personnel managers of the ban under current law on converting work recently performed in-house into service work for contractors. The memorandum from acting Defense Undersecretary Jo Ann Rooney comes as some in Congress want to apply the ban governmentwide.

"As the department adapts to declining budgets and operating in a constrained fiscal environment, we must ensure that we make analytically based spending choices based on sound strategy and policies," Rooney wrote, citing the current moratorium on public-private competitions for federal work under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76. "[W]e must be particularly vigilant to prevent the inappropriate conversion of work to contract performance." She noted that "the Congress and [Defense Secretary Leon Panetta] also remain concerned that the department not be overly reliant on contracted services."

The American Federation of Government Employees applauded the stepped-up enforcement, having earlier sent a proposal to OMB to expand the ban to all agencies. 

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