DOD Competitive Sourcing:

A-76 Program Has Been Augmented by Broader Reinvention Options

GAO-01-907T: Published: Jun 28, 2001. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 2001.

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Barry W. Holman
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Office of Public Affairs
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This testimony discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) use of the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-76, which establishes federal policy for the performance of recurring commercial activities. DOD has been a leader among federal agencies in the use of the A-76 process and at one point planned to use the process to study more than 200,000 positions over several years. However, the number of positions planned for study has changed over time and the Department recently augmented its A-76 program with what it terms strategic sourcing. DOD has saved money through the A-76 process primarily by reducing the number of in-house positions. Yet, GAO has repeatedly found that it is extremely difficult to measure the precise amount of savings because available data has been limited and inconsistent. The lessons learned from DOD's A-76 program include the following: (1) studies have generally taken longer than initially expected, (2) studies have generally required higher costs and resources than initially projected, (3) finding and selecting functions to compete can be difficult, and (4) making premature budget cuts on the assumption of projected savings can be risky. Both government groups and the private sector have expressed concerns about the fairness, adequacy, costs, and timeliness of the A-76 process.

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