What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : (H.R. 5136) On an amendment to legislation authorizing funding for Defense Department programs that barred the federal government from contracting out services that would otherwise be performed by federal employees without determining that such a contract would result in savings for taxpayers. (2010 house Roll Call 318)
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(H.R. 5136) On an amendment to legislation authorizing funding for Defense Department programs that barred the federal government from contracting out services that would otherwise be performed by federal employees without determining that such a contract would result in savings for taxpayers.
house Roll Call 318     May 27, 2010
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) to legislation  authorizing funding for Defense Department programs in 2011 that barred the federal government from contracting out services that would otherwise be performed by federal employees without determining that such a contract would result in savings for taxpayers. In addition, the amendment required all federal agencies to conduct an inventory of their existing  government contracts. The amendment required those inventories to specify the total amount of federal money spent on each contract. The inventories were also required to identify contracted services that had been “poorly performed,” either due to excessive cost or inferior quality. The amendment also required the inventories to identify government contracts in which services should be “insourced,” or transferred to government employees.

Sarbanes argued his amendment “would bring standards of good government and good government practice to procurement across the federal agencies. What it does, in fact, is it takes a set of standards that has been put in place already with respect to the Department of Defense…and it makes it clear that those are going to be authorized standards going forward to apply to non-DOD [Department of Defense] agencies as well now as to DOD agencies.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) argued the outsourcing policies Sarbanes sought to enact “not working so great for the Department of Defense, and to take it to all the other departments of government is not a good idea…. People that are in government are well-intentioned, they do their best, but there just sometimes is not that same cutting-edge innovation and technology improvement in government service that we see with people working in the private sector.”

The House agreed to the Sarbanes amendment by a vote of 253-172. 243 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted “yea.” 161 Republicans and 11 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment that barred federal government agencies from contracting out services that would otherwise be performed by federal employees without determining that such a contract would result in savings for taxpayers, and required all federal agencies to conduct an inventory of their existing  government contracts. (The amendment required those inventories to identify contracted services that had been “poorly performed,” either due to excessive cost or inferior quality. The amendment also required the inventories to identify government contracts in which services should be “insourced,” or transferred to government employees.)

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