Air Force does about-face on A-76 at Lackland

Air Force does about-face on A-76 at Lackland

The Air Force decided this week to recompete a controversial A-76 outsourcing competition at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. The service will suspend future outsourcing initiatives under the Office of Management and Budget directive until an acquisition strategy panel can meet.

Also this week, the Air Force 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 temporary suspension of A-76 studies by the Air Education and Training Command came on the heels of a Pentagon inspector general's ruling earlier this 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.

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

'I think everyone agrees that the process is inherently flawed,' said Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez (D-Texas). 'The Defense Department needs to take responsibility for fixing it.'

John Gilligan, Air Force 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 this week at the Air Force Information Technology Conference in Montgomery, Ala. 'I think A-76 is a broken process for information technology.'

In the Lackland competition, employees bid against Lackland 21st Century Services Consolidated to run the base's IT and communications services. The private-sector team is a joint venture of Computer Sciences Corp., Del-Jen Inc. of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., and Tecom Inc. of Austin, Texas.

Frank Pollare, CSC 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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