NOAA Is Improving Its A-76 Program To Correct Early Problems

RCED-85-95: Published: Jun 21, 1985. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) implementation and management of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 which provides that federal agencies review their activities to determine whether commercial activities could be performed more economically by contract than by government employees.

GAO found that NOAA began its A-76 program in December 1982 and has completed only 4 of its 37 originally scheduled reviews, and the entire process is not expected to be completed until October 1987. NOAA expects that $2.2 million in savings will be realized during fiscal year 1985 by implementing A-76 review results. NOAA has involuntarily separated 13 employees. GAO found that NOAA has complied with various OMB Circular A-76 policies and procedures, but in early reviews it had problems because it had not fully developed a system for managing and directing the process. Some NOAA employees and consultants implementing the program were not adequately prepared for their duties because of insufficient training and directives. One of the first contracts resulting from an A-76 review did not include a performance requirements summary that would have established an agreement on a systematic approach for reducing payments to the contractor for performance problems. NOAA has taken or is planning to take corrective action on each of these deficiencies.

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