Defense IG dings Air Force A-76 review

Defense IG dings Air Force A-76 review

The Pentagon's inspector general has ruled that the Air Force made so many mistakes in its handling of an A-76 job review and outsourcing competition at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, that the service should start from scratch.

In a report, the IG cited, among other things, the Air Force for allowing inexperienced staff to evaluate the bids and for ordering changes to the in-house proposal. To rectify the situation, the IG recommended that the Air Force hold a new competition.

The Air Force is still determining whether to follow any of the recommendations in the report. Agencies use OMB Circular A-76 to decide whether to outsource a government program through competition. Government entities can compete with industry for a project if the initial review recommends outsourcing.

In the competition, employees at Lackland and Kelly Air Force Base, which is adjacent to Lackland, took on Lackland 21st Century Services Consolidated, a joint venture of three companies, to run the base's information technology and communications services.

The joint venture won, but the workers appealed the contract arguing that they had offered the more competitive bid. The employees won their appeal, prompting Lackland 21st Century to file a protest with the General Accounting Office. GAO sided with the vendors.

The Pentagon IG began a separate investigation after a Texas congressional delegation asked for an independent evaluation.

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