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The House will take up the FY12 Financial Services Appropriations Bill later this week. An amendment will surely be offered on the floor to strike Section 733—a prohibition on beginning new OMB Circular A-76 studies in all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD)—probably by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), who has offered amendments to strike A-76 safeguards in the Agriculture, Homeland Security, Defense, and Energy & Water Appropriations Bill. (To see how your lawmakers voted on related floor amendments, please consult the attached voting record for votes 345, 393, and 500.) Documented problems in the A-76 process must be fixed and agencies must inventory their service contracts before Congress repeals the A-76 safeguard.
The A-76 safeguard was first included in the FY09 Bill, for several reasons:
1. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the DoD Inspector General (IG) determined that agencies had not established reliable systems to track costs and savings from using the A-76 process and that significant costs of conducting A-76 privatization studies were ignored.
2. The DoD IG also determined that the A-76 process was biased against federal employees because it imposed excessive charges on in-house bids.
3. There was no inventory of service contracts to identify contracts that cost too much or are poorly performed.
The Office of Management and Budget acknowledges that these problems have not been corrected, which is why OMB has asked that none of the safeguards against using the OMB Circular A-76 process, including this one, be repealed. On June 23, in response to a report required by Congress in the FY10, DoD acknowledged that its lack of progress in reforming the A-76 circular, pledging only “to review recommendations made by various stakeholders to determine if further refinements would be beneficial”. Documented problems in the A-76 process must be fixed and agencies must inventory their service contracts before Congress repeals the A-76 safeguard.
Please contact John Threlkeld in AFGE’s Legislative Department at [email protected] if you have any questions.