Federal Eye: Defining ‘inherently governmental’ jobs

What kind of tasks should be performed by federal workers and which ones can be handled by contractors? In other words, what are
“inherently governmental” tasks?

The Obama administration hopes to have answers by the fall and will start formally seeking input Wednesday from agencies, contractors,
federal workers and their unions on when to use feds and when to hire
outside help.

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy published draft guidance (pdf) on Wednesday that seeks to clarify the definition of jobs that
should be performed by government workers instead of private
contractors. The guidance states that such tasks are so directly tied
to the public interest that they must be done by government workers.
Those tasks include setting agency policy, hiring workers, awarding
contracts and other core activities, such as labor inspectors at the Labor Department or airport security screeners at the Department of Homeland Security.

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Interesting. That’s always a tough question to answer. Personally I think it is a pendulum that swing one way or another for a few years then counterbalances.