Outsourcing and Privatization:

Private-Sector Assistance for Federal Agency Studies

GGD-99-52R: Published: Mar 26, 1999. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 1999.

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Bernard L. Ungar
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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Transportation's, Department of Health and Human Services', Department of Defense's, Department of Energy's, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's, and the General Services Administration's efforts to implement section 640 of the 1996 Clinger-Cohen Act (CCA). Additionally, GAO obtained information from these agencies about private-sector participation on non-information systems (IS)/information technology (IT) outsourcing and privatization studies for the same period.

GAO noted that: (1) neither the six agencies GAO contacted nor the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had taken action specifically aimed at implementing section 640; (2) OMB had issued guidance on the implementation of the Clinger-Cohen Act with respect to new IS/IT investments that addresses contracting, outsourcing, and privatization; (3) this guidance, however, did not address section 640 in particular; (4) additionally, officials in the six agencies GAO contacted told it that they were not aware of section 640 and had not considered it when performing CCA-related studies; and (5) however, according to the officials GAO interviewed, they did not need section 640 authority to obtain private-sector assistance for IS/IT- or non-IS/IT related outsourcing and privatization studies.

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