Defense Act keeps OMB from directing competitions
- By Matthew Weigelt
- Jan 06, 2009
The Office of Management and Budget didn’t direct or require the defense secretary or military departments to undertake public/private competitions for Defense Department work, according to a report released yesterday.
DOD officials in charge of the competitions said they didn’t feel pressured by OMB officials to conduct the competitions, according to a DOD inspector general’s report.
However, the Army was under “extreme” pressure from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) to conduct the competitions, the report states. Officials at the Army Materiel Command and Army Installation Management Command said they felt pressure more from the chain of command than from the OSD or OMB, according to the report. The two major commands, the only two to hold competitions in 2008, announced their competitions because of pressure to reach a goal set by the Army.
Competitive sourcing pits government employees against contractors for government work. The program has stirred up a lot of controversy in Congress, and numerous bills have restricted the use of competitive sourcing and almost stopped the practice.
The fiscal 2008 National Defense Authorization Act restricted OMB and the defense secretary from influencing DOD agencies regarding competitive sourcing.
Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.