OMB campaigns for A-76 on the Hill

OMB campaigns for A-76 on the Hill

By Dipka Bhambhani

GCN staff

JUNE 29'Representatives of the Office of Management and Budget met yesterday with the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy to discuss congressional concerns about the administration's push for outsourcing government services under OMB's Circular A-76.

Subcommittee members said they worry that the push to outsource will compromise quality of services by eliminating experienced federal workers. Contractor work forces will fill the vacancies, they said, despite the administration's attempt to shrink the federal government, and the contractors will be treated more poorly than federal employees.

A-76 is 'not just about cost savings,' said Angela Styles, director of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at OMB. 'There's so much improvement in management and innovation.'

Subcommittee members questioned her about the ramifications of aggressively campaigning for A-76 before the General Accounting Office comes out with a report on outsourcing later this year.

'We're not aggressively moving to reduce the [federal] work force, but we're not going to wait for the benefits of competition,' Styles said.

Two groups, one made up of representatives from OMB, GAO and the Defense Department, and the other made up of nonprofit organizations and private companies, discussed A-76 and a related piece of legislation, the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998.

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