SSA underbids industry, wins contract

A team of 36 Social Security Administration managers, programmers and analysts determined their costs for software validation to be less than any of four related contracts the agency had with the private sector and therefore won the agency's first competition for work under OMB Circular A-76.

The agency received a waiver from the Office of Management and Budget to use the simplified cost comparison process under the old A-76 circular, which lets agencies compare in-house work against comparable agency contracts. The employees put together a bid that was one-third less than the lowest of the four contracts, SSA spokeswoman Jean Venable said.

Because SSA used the cost comparison method, no new vendor bids were received, said Andy Hardwick, another SSA spokesman.

SSA officials started the evaluation in January and finished last month, Venable said. The contracting officer in the Office of Acquisition and Grants made the final decision, she said.
Venable declined to reveal the names of the four private-sector contractors or the amount the SSA team bid.

SSA will make sure the federal workers are accountable through a cost-and-performance review conducted at the end of the year, Hardwick added.

The 36 SSA employees work in the Configuration Management and Validation Technology Division. SSA also is conducting A-76 competitions for help desk services in the Systems Office, and facilities maintenance services in the Finance, Assessment and Management Office.

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