Protest Involving Decision To Contract Out

B-196009: Mar 4, 1980

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Acting on behalf of a group of affected Government employees, Local 1617 of the American Federation of Government Employees protested the award of a service contract by the Air Force. The Air Force made the decision to contract out for the services in question under the guidance of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76, which reflects the policy of the Federal Government to rely on private enterprise for its needs unless the national interest requires otherwise. An agency's decision to contract out in accordance with A-76 guidelines depends largely on a comparison of the costs of private as opposed to Government performance of a given task. Government employees affected by such determinations are subject to reassignment or reduction-in-force actions. GAO has consistently declined to consider protests concerning the propriety of an agency's decision under A-76 on the basis that such actions involve matters of executive policy and are not within the protest decision function of GAO. In order to protect bidders from arbitrary rejection, GAO will review cost comparisons under A-76 guidelines where they do not conform to the terms of a solicitation; however, this type of review does not apply to nonbidders such as Local 1617. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.