“Contractors will offer their usual parochial gripes and complaints,” noted Harnage. “Who can blame them? They’ve had it easy for so long that they’ve developed some bad habits. The better contractors will understand that the cozy deals they have with agencies, while good for their shareholders, aren’t good for government and will welcome the opportunity to compete against federal employees. After all, how many contractors would automatically contract out their own work and then never bother to determine how well their own work is actually being performed? None. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how federal agencies are operating today.”
The TRAC Act would require agencies to track the costs of contracting out, subject work to public-private competition before giving it to contractors, abolish arbitrary in-house personnel ceilings that prevent federal employees from competing for work, and emphasize contracting in to the same extent as contracting out. When allowed to compete, federal employees win 60 percent of the public-private competitions conducted. The TRAC Act would make the contracting process more reliable (by tracking costs), more comprehensive (by requiring public-private competition instead of simply handing over work to contractors), and more equitable (by ensuring that contractors are subjected to the same level of public-private competition as federal employees).
“A lot of politicians talk about making the federal government more efficient,” observed Harnage. “The TRAC Act offers the possibility of saving billions of dollars wasted on bad service contracting. You can separate the politicians who are serious about making the federal government more efficient and those who are just talking by finding out whether they support the TRAC Act.”