Five best practices for A-76 success

Agencies with thriving competitive sourcing programs have found five practices are the keys to success, the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Acquisition Council said today in the new Manager's Guide to Competitive Sourcing.

The guide revises the October 2003 original, which covered only the basics of competing inherently commercial federal jobs with the private sector under OMB Circular A-76.

Officials said the guide compiles facts and sources to help agency managers understand competitive-sourcing requirements and achieve their goals.

Through one-on-one and group interviews, OMB and the acquisition council found competitive sourcing works best when agencies:

  • Strategize about general private-sector interest in inherently commercial agency jobs


  • Take advantage of competition to reorganize and boost in-house efficiencies


  • Mitigate the risk of skill shortages by linking competitive-sourcing decisions to human capital needs


  • Use internal scorecards and other management tools to keep managers focused


  • Seek contractor assistance for technical and business support.


  • The guide also recommended long-term planning to gain buy-in from agency employees, seeking active support from the most senior officials and learning from other agencies' experiences.

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