Sourcing Policy: Selected Developments and Issues [February 7, 2012]   [open pdf - 591KB]

"Dating back to the 1950s, federal sourcing policy generally has focused on the premise that the government should rely on the private sector for the provision of certain goods and services. Additionally, it has centered around guidance for conducting public-private competitions to determine whether federal employees, or contractor employees, should be selected to perform certain agency functions. The Administration of President George W. Bush, in particular, emphasized subjecting eligible agency functions to public-private competitions. Branding this policy, and related guidance, as competitive sourcing, the Bush Administration included it as one component of the President's Management Agenda. During the Administration of President Barack Obama, another strain, or facet, of sourcing policy surfaced. Labeled multi-sector workforce management by the Administration, it posits that federal agencies might be susceptible to overreliance on contractors, which could affect the ability of agencies to maintain control over their missions and operations. OMB's [Office of Management and Budget] July 2009 memorandum provides guidance to agencies on how to manage their multi-sector workforces. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy's Policy Letter 11-01--by providing a single, consistent definition of inherently governmental and guidance for identifying and managing inherently governmental functions, functions closely associated with inherently governmental functions, and critical functions--complements the Administration's multi-sector workforce management policy. This letter was issued in September 2011.[…]This report provides an overview of the evolution of federal sourcing policy to date and identifies the major policy issues before Congress. It is not a legislation tracking report. This report will be updated as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL42341
Public Domain
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