The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) issued draft guidance this week (in the Federal Register) instructing Executive Branch agencies to define “inherently governmental work” according to 1998 Federal Agencies Inventory Reform Act (FAIR). Up to this point, three different sources have contained definitions of and guidance for inherently governmental function: The FAIR, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and the Circular A-76. The FAIR defines inherently governmental functions as those that “are so intimately related to the public interest as to require performance by federal government employees.” The draft guidance directs agencies to: 1) reserve certain work to be performed by federal employees; 2) maintain management oversight over how they use contractors support for government operations; and 3) make sure that federal employees have the necessary technical skills and expertise to perform agency mission and operations. The guidance also emphasizes the need to better manage federal contractors. It advises agencies that government officials should maintain continuous direct control of contracts and the public should be informed when a contractor is providing service to citizens. It directs agencies to ensure that there is no confusion as to whether work that is closely associated with an inherently governmental function is performed by government personnel or contractors. To do this, agencies will identify contractors and contractor work products, physically separate contractor and government personnel at the worksite, or have contractors work offsite. Appendices to this guidance lists 20 examples of functions that are to be considered inherently governmental and 19 examples of functions that are closely associated with inherently governmental functions.
Procurement Policy Office issues guidance on inherently governmental work
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This is a great article on this topic recently published in WashingtonTechnology Magazine. It has a technology slant but relevant none-the-less.