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Re: Inherently Government Functions
---Ash Mahesh <email@example.com> wrote:
> > There is something what we call as IGFs or Inherently Government
> > Functions. Issuance of currency in my view is an IGF which cannot
> > be privatized. (whereas the railways are not an IGF)
> Interesting. How do we decide what is an IGF? On what basis? How
about >a few other examples to help out those of us who haven't
encountered >this idea in the past, Kush? I tend to agree that there
are such >functions, but I haven't given much thought to determine how
those >might be identified.
Ash: Thanks for asking that excellent question. The good thing is
that on IGFs we do not have to reinvent the wheel. As you know that
the US federal government has always taken advantage of "contractors"
(private companies big and small) right from the supply of paper clips
to muti-billion dollar aircraft carriers. In the seventies and
eighties the US national government also privatized many services.
The chief among them was building maintenance, security, data
processing and even policy-statistical analysis. One of the
unintended results were that public managers started taking too much
advantage of this privatization! Policy-makers in the US government
which includes the Congress (General Accounting Office) and the OMB
(office of Management and Budget) were alerted of this abuse. Hence
they came up with guidelines on services and functions that could not
be "contracted out." These were incorporated in the Federal
Acquisition Regulations (FAR). The following list of inherently
governmental functions is from FAR 7.503. EPA (where I work) training
guide says this: "Contracts shall not be used for the performance of
these functions. Every contract, delivery order and work assignment
statement of work must be carefully reviewed to ensure that the
inherently governmental functions are not contracted."
1. The direct conduct of criminal investigations.
2. The control, prosecutions and performance of adjudicatory
functions other than those relating to arbitration or other methods of
alternate dispute resolution.
3. The command of military forces, especially the leadership of
military personnel who are members of combat, combat support or combat
service support role.
4. The conduct of foreign relations and the determination of foreign
5. The determiniation of Agency policy, such as determining of the
content and application of regulations, among other things.
6. The determination of Federal program priorites for budget
7. The direction and control of Federal employees.
8. The direction and control of intelligence and
9. The selection or non-selection of individuals for Federal
Government employment, including interviewing or hiring of individuals.
10. The approval of position descriptions and performance standards
for Federal employees.
11. The determiniation of what government property is to be disposed
of and on what terms.....
12. ((This specifically referes to procurement activities and prime
13. The approval of Agency responses to the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) requests.....
14 The conduct of administrative hearings to determine the
eligibility of any person for asecutiry clearance, or involving
matters of personal reputation or eligibility to participate in
15. The approval of Fedral licensing actions and inspections.
16. The determiniation of budget policy, guidance and strategy.
17. The collection, control, and disbursement of fees, royalties,
duties, fines, taxes and other publes funds....
18. The control of teasury accounts.
19. The administration of public trusts.
20. The drafting of Congressional testimony, responses to
Congressional correspondence, (includes brifing material to congress
staffers) or Agency responses to audit reports from the Inspector
General, General Accounting Office, or other auditing entities.
Sorry, I had to abbreviate some of the above. But it does give you
the picture. You may ask you do not see the issuance of currency up
there. That was taken care of by the constitution where the authority
to issue currency was given to the Federal government. The Congress
delegated that authority to the Treasury department. It will require
a constitutional change to privatize that function. The actual
printing of the US currency is also done by the Bureau of Engraving
(Dept. of Treasury). Every day hundreds of tourists line up and see
the operation (there is a ticket) printing of currency notes. But if
the Treasury wanted to it could privatize the physical priniting.
That would not require a constitutional change. But so far the
printing part has been very successful and efficient operation and
therefore that question has not arisen. Regards, Kush.
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