The public-private face-off at West Point illustrates just what Bush envisioned when he proposed the "competitive sourcing" initiative in 2001 as part of his management agenda. It turned on a simple idea: Force federal employees to compete for their jobs against private contractors and costs will decrease, even if the work ultimately stays in-house.Bush has all the power he needs to put the Norquistian Bathtub Plan into action and he even manages to screw that up (a development for which we should probably be thankful). As Condi Rice would say, "Nobody ever could have imagined..."
But as Bush's presidency winds down, the program's critics say it has had disappointing results and shaken morale among the federal government's 1.8 million civil servants. Private contractors have grown increasingly reluctant to participate in the competitions, which federal employees have won 83 percent of the time. The program fell short of the president's goals in scope and in cost savings. Between 2003 and 2006, agencies completed competitions for fewer than 50,000 jobs, a fraction of what Bush envisioned.
Moreover, the Government Accountability Office found that the administration has overstated the savings from some competitions by undercounting the costs of running them. Collectively, they cost $225 million, or about $4,800 per job, according to White House figures.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Another stunning success from the MBA president: