U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today re-introduced legislation that would require federal agencies to rely on the private sector when providing goods and services that are readily available. Thune’s legislation, the Freedom from Government Competition Act, would ensure private enterprises performing activities duplicated by the government have the opportunity to compete for work that federal agencies unnecessarily handle in-house.
Thune’s legislation would codify the “Yellow Pages” test, which says that if the federal government is doing something that can be found in the Yellow Pages, the product or service should be subject to market competition to ensure better value for the taxpayer.
“Finding ways to stimulate job growth on Main Street while reducing federal spending and the size and scope of government remains a top priority for me,” said Thune. “We shouldn’t pit the resources of our federal government against privately owned businesses, and my bill is a step in the right direction. Private businesses, many of them small businesses, are the real job creators in America, yet the federal government has barred market access for these services. My bill gives private businesses in South Dakota and elsewhere equal footing to compete for government business while keeping jobs and revenue in local communities.”
Thune’s legislation does not mandate the privatization of any specific federal service and would protect those activities which are inherently governmental, such as certain national defense and homeland security functions, prosecutions, foreign policy and activities to bind the United States to take or not to take some action by contract, policy, regulation, authorization, or order.Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) is a cosponsor of Thune’s bill. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan (R-Tenn.) is sponsoring the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.