[Excerpt] While agencies are prohibited by federal law and policy from contracting out functions that are “inherently governmental,” other functions could potentially be contracted out. There has long been debate over both general government policies promoting the use of the private sector to perform “commercial functions” and whether specific functions should be performed by government personnel or contractors. However, since 2008, the insourcing initiatives of recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have caused particular controversy. Several lawsuits have been filed challenging agencies’ determinations to insource particular functions, and broader questions have been raised as to whether agencies’ implementation of insourcing runs afoul of civil service, ethics, or small business laws. This report provides a brief overview of key legal issues related to recent insourcing initiatives. It will be updated as developments occur.