U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.)
WASHINGTON (SUBMITTED) -- Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) this week introduced legislation calling for greater use of the private sector by the Federal government. The Freedom From Government Competition Act, H.R. 2682, allows for a “Yellow Pages” test to review every commercial activity in the federal government.
This “test” would require that if the Yellow Pages list several firms that currently provide services that the government is also providing, then the service should be subject to competition.
Since the enactment of the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act (Public Law 105-270) in 1998, less than 10 percent of the 850,000 positions in the federal government deemed commercial in nature have actually been reviewed. Use of a “Yellow Pages” test on the positions identified under the FAIR Act, if competed within five years, could reap annual savings of between $20 billion and $28 billion.
“My bill does not mandate privatization. It gives Executive Branch agencies options to preserve those activities that only the government should do, while proposing competition with the private sector for those functions that are commercial,” said Duncan. “It implements a 'Yellow Pages' test to make certain the government is not unfairly competing with small business and to assure that products and services are provided at the best value to the taxpayer.”
Senator John Thune of South Dakota introduced the companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S. 1167).