Commercial Activities Panel:

Use of Numerical Goals

GAO-02-1022R: Published: Aug 9, 2002. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2002.

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GAO reviewed two competitive sourcing initiatives to determine whether they are consistent with the sourcing principles recommended by the Commercial Activities Panel. GAO found that, based on their current design, the administration's "performance target" and the fiscal year 2003 Treasury and General Government Appropriations bill, are not fully consistent with the sourcing principles adopted by the Panel. The most relevant recommended principle concerning these initiatives is that sourcing policy should "avoid arbitrary full-time equivalent (FTE) or other arbitrary numerical goals." The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum in March 2001, setting goals for a percentage of agencies' FTE positions that are to be subjected to public-private competition or directly converted to contractor performance. This OMB initiative is not consistent with the Panel's recommended principles. There is no evidence to indicate that its numerical FTE goals were based on considered research and sound analysis. Any related goals should be based on a review of historical data on sourcing activity in the public and private sectors combined with an analysis of current and emerging market trends.

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