The Federal government has more than 850,000
employees who are involved in performing commercially available activities. These
are activities that can be found in the "Yellow Pages” and from private
companies, including small business, on Main Street, USA. Surveying, mapping
and other "geospatial” services are prime examples of commercial activities in
which the Federal government duplicates and competes with the private sector.
There is also a dangerous trend toward
"in-sourcing” -- the conversion of work currently performed by private contractor
firms to performance by Federal government employees -- and building in-house
government capabilities at the expense of private sector job creation in the
geospatial market. Federal agencies are purchasing equipment, in some cases
with "Stimulus” (ARRA) funding, to build their own in-house capacity to use
Federal employees to perform geospatial activities that should be performed by
the private sector. In this difficult economy, government agencies should be
utilizing private geospatial firms to the maximum extent practical, not
directly competing against them.
has tied the hands of agencies in utilizing the private sector. In 2009,
Congress passed language in the Omnibus Appropriations Act, Public Law 111-5
and in the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Public Law 111-117,
restricting contracting out to the private sector. In
October 2009, Congress passed language in the Defense Authorization, Public Law
111-84, placing a moratorium on OMB Circular A-76 public-private competitions.
A-76 competitions bring the best value to the taxpayer regardless of whether
the activity stays in-house or is contracted out. MAPPS urges Congress to
repeal these provisions and lift restrictions on the private sector’s ability
to compete for government contracting opportunities. Before leaving office,
then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called for lifting these restrictions. A
moratorium should be placed on in-sourcing, or, at a minimum, there should be a
requirement that a demonstrated, quantifiable cost saving is shown before
in-sourcing occurs. A robust,
qualified and competent private sector exists within the mapping profession and
government at all levels should utilize, not duplicate or compete with it.
March 2013, Representative John J. "Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) and Senator John
Thune (R-SD) introduced the "Freedom from Government Competition Act (FFGCA) of
2013”, H.R. 1072/S. 523. FFGCA will codify the "Yellow Pages” test, applied by
Mayors and Governors, both Democrat and Republican, that says if you can find
firms in the Yellow Pages providing products or services that the government is
also providing, then the service should be subject to market competition to
break up the government monopoly and prove a better value to the taxpayer. This
bill will not only make government smaller and more efficient, but save up to
$27 billion annually and improve the quality of services.
respectfully urges members of Congress to offer amendments to appropriations
bills and authorization legislation calling for utilization of the private
sector to the maximum extent practical for geospatial activities. MAPPS opposes
limits on the ability of agencies to utilize the private sector and urges
members of Congress to reject such provisions. MAPPS also urges Congress to enact
a moratorium on in-sourcing. Additionally, Representatives are asked to cosponsor
the Freedom from Government Competition Act by contacting Don Walker in
Representative Duncan’s office at 5-5435. Senators can cosponsor companion
legislation by contacting Jessica Yearous in Senator Thune’s office at 4-2321.
For more information, contact John Byrd, MAPPS Government Affairs Manager, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 787-6996.