EPA to Contract Out Hundreds of Jobs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to outsource nearly five percent of its workforce, according to agency memos released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a national organization of government employees in natural resources agencies.

Employees in the areas of information technology, financial services, and administrative support will be outsourced under the newly approved EPA plan. For the first time, enforcement positions will be offered for bid to private companies.

As described in a Decision Paper signed by EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson on Sept. 22, 2005, the agency has struggled over the last few years to meet its assigned goal of putting 850 full-time equivalent positions—five percent of its total—out to bid for possible replacement by private providers by 2008.
This latest plan increases fourfold the number of employees potentially outsourced from the agency’s last published plan in 2004.

The Decision Paper describes a Competitive Sourcing Council under the chairmanship of the Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management, Luis Luna.

Luna is responsible for the agency’s hiring and personnel policies affecting 18,000 federal employees nationwide, facilities management, a $1.2 billion procurement program, and the administration of EPA’s grants totaling
$4 billion annually.

The Council selected functions for competitive sourcing thought to be “the most commercial in nature,” and directed all offices and regions to participate in the outsourcing exercise.