Noel Brinkerhoff
All Gov 

November 29, 2011

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) wants federal agencies to stop hiring companies to perform jobs that are “inherently governmental functions,” which by their very definition are never supposed to be contracted out.

Examples of these jobs include criminal investigations, commanding military forces, directing and controlling intelligence and counter-intelligence operations, crafting agency policies and budgets, and awarding and administering contracts.
To achieve his goal, Durbin added language to the 2012 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act (S. 1573) that would require the government to not hire outside businesses for “functions that are closely associated with inherently governmental functions.”
The Obama administration, led by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), objects to Durbin’s effort. OMB says contractors should be allowed to perform work closely associated with inherently governmental functions as long as agencies conduct proper oversight of the work. Some watchdog organizations, such as the Project on Government Oversight, consider it unlikely that such oversight would be effective.



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