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Agency mulls outsourcing over 300 jobs

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration may outsource hundreds of jobs to private companies, according to agency officials.

The government's chief health regulatory agency is reviewing more than 300 positions in more than 20 cities to determine whether they could be performed cheaper and better by the private sector. A decision is expected next month, according to FDA documents.

An initial list of positions under review included lab technicians and field office workers who work at FDA facilities where food and medical products are inspected for safety.

However, the FDA revised the list to include only administrative jobs that aren't directly involved in food safety inspections, Chris Kelly, an FDA spokesman said yesterday.