Army seeks A-76 waiver for logistics project

An A-76 review could delay
modernization by up to two years, Gen. Johnnie Wilson says.

Gen. Johnnie Wilson, commander of Army Materiel Command, has signed a waiver designed
to bypass the formal A-76 process and let the service proceed with a controversial $1
billion logistics modernization program to outsource some Army software support functions.

Wilson signed the waiver late last month as a necessary step toward releasing a final
request for proposals for the Army’s Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program
(WLMP). The waiver, however, still requires the approval of Patrick Henry, the assistant
secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, before the procurement can take

“An elongated A-76 process can take between 14 months and 24 months to
complete,” Wilson said last week at the Army’s Acquisition and Logistics
Initiatives conference in Washington. “If we cannot get the waiver approved, then
it’s really going to set us back.”

The Office of Management and Budget requires agencies to do an analysis, known as an
A-76 review, of the costs and savings outsourcing will produce.

AMC’s Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J., had planned to
release the final RFP by Nov. 20, Wilson said. But a budget analyst in the Office of the
Secretary of Defense raised questions about the Army’s logistics outsourcing program,
he said.

“It seems to me that the administration and leadership wants to outsource and
privatize as much as we can,” Wilson said. “But, on the other hand, when you
have a resource analyst who raises questions, it slows the process down.”

The Army initially planned to release the final RFP to industry this year. But
congressional opposition to outsourcing put the brakes on those plans.

Rep. Herbert Bateman (R-Va.), a member of the House National Security Committee, in May
sent a letter to Jayson Spiegel, then-acting assistant secretary of the Army for manpower
and reserve affairs, calling for a halt to the Army’s WLMP procurement and an audit
of the proposed outsourcing.

More than 500 civilian employees at two Army software centers—the Industrial
Logistics Support Center in Chambersburg, Pa., and the Logistics Systems Support Center in
St. Louis—could lose their jobs as a result of the program.

But WLMP is essential if the Army is to modernize its legacy logistics systems and
adopt best commercial business practices, AMC officials said.

Bateman called for “a sound economic analysis” of AMC’s plans regarding
the Chambersburg and St. Louis software centers, Wilson said. AMC is currently conducting
a detailed audit of the WLMP program, he said.

“We want to do everything within the framework of the law,” Wilson said.
“One of the important things for us is that we have not answered Congressman
Bateman’s letter, which had many questions. We’re still making sure that
we’ve got the appropriate analysis.”

Under the program, AMC will modernize its logistics systems and privatize the two Army
software centers that support AMC’s wholesale logistics automation systems, including
the Commodity Command Standard System and the Standard Depot System.  

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