A-76 process stalls at Lackland

A-76 process stalls at Lackland

'I think everyone agrees that the process is inherently flawed.'
'REP. CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ W

The Air Force decided last month to suspend future outsourcing initiatives under OMB Circular A-76 within the Air Education and Training Command until a panel can meet to devise an acquisition strategy.

The service, which has made several controversial A-76 decisions over the last year, said it would hold a new outsourcing competition for the training command at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

The move came after a Texas congressman called on the Air Force to halt A-76 competitions involving the command. Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez (D-Texas) has criticized plans to outsource work at Lackland, saying such a move would jeopardize 900 jobs at the base.

'I think everyone agrees that the process is inherently flawed,' Rodriguez said. 'The Defense Department needs to take responsibility for fixing it.'

John Gilligan, the Air Force's deputy chief information officer, agreed that A-76 competitions need a closer look.

'A-76 studies have left us with a lot of problems,' Gilligan said last month at the Air Force Information Technology Conference in Montgomery, Ala. 'I think A-76 is a broken process for information technology.'

The suspension of A-76 studies at the training command came on the heels of a Pentagon inspector general's ruling early last month.

The IG found that the Air Force made so many mistakes in its handling of the Lackland review and outsourcing competition that the service should throw out the results and begin again. The $352 million award had gone to a team of contractors led by Computer Sciences Corp.

Contractor or workers?

Also last month, the Air Force made a ruling in another outsourcing case that has seen a number of missteps. The service awarded DynCorp Technical Services of Reston, Va., a five-year, $200 million A-76 contract to provide base operations support services at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

The General Accounting Office recently found that the Air Force blundered when it failed initially to give DynCorp the Maxwell support contract, awarding it instead to government workers.

In the Lackland competition, employees bid against an industry team of contractors called Lackland 21st Century Services Consolidated to run the base's IT and communications services. The private-sector team was led by CSC and included Del-Jen Inc. of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., and Tecom Inc. of Austin, Texas.

Frank Pollare, CSC's director of public relations, said his company invested a lot of time and money in the A-76 competition and is 'extremely disappointed with the Air Force decision.'

He said CSC officials would evaluate whether the company would take part in the new Lackland competition.

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