DOD supports A-76 after all

DOD supports A-76 after all

Defense Department brass last month recommitted themselves to supporting OMB Circular A-76.

At a Jan. 30 meeting with Office of Management and Budget officials, Defense officials expressed their commitment to use the A-76 process to outsource by 2003 at least 15 percent of all noninherently governmental jobs.

A month earlier, a senior DOD executive had said the department would consider alternatives to the arduous A-76 process.

Edward C. 'Pete' Aldridge, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said in a Dec. 26 letter to OMB that Defense wanted to step away from A-76 and develop its own methods for improving mission effectiveness while cutting costs [GCN, Jan. 21, Page 7].

OMB and Defense officials are drafting a memorandum of agreement on how the department will achieve the 15 percent goal and what other methods it would like to use.

'We don't want them not to compete and just outsource jobs,' said Angela Styles, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. 'Part of the problem with undersecretary Aldridge's memo was some interpreted [that] DOD was not going to meet the 15 percent goal. They agreed to meet the goal.'

Metrics plan

DOD spokesman Glenn Flood said Aldridge has put together a Business Initiative Council to improve the department's administrative effectiveness and reduce costs. The council will draft a plan with quantifiable metrics to show savings by 2004. In the plan, A-76 and the recommendations of the General Accounting Office's Commercial Activities Panel on how to improve the A-76 process will receive significant attention, Flood said.

DOD wants to look at alternatives to A-76 that could include strategic sourcing, joint ventures and public-private partnerships.

OMB does not oppose alternatives to A-76, but Styles made it clear that competition must be a major component of whatever process is used.

Styles said OMB officials also held meetings about A-76 with other agencies, but the discussion with DOD on the issue received the most attention.

Styles said 70 percent of all agencies have submitted an acceptable plan or one close to being accepted to comply with the 15 percent goal.

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