Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the implementation of the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act of 1998, focusing on: (1) the overall initial implementation of the FAIR Act; (2) the clarity and understandability of five agencies' FAIR Act inventories; (3) the extent to which these agencies exempted commercial activities from competition; and (4) supplemental information that enhanced the understandability of agencies' inventories.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Management and Budget||In order to enhance the clarity and understandability of agencies' FAIR Act inventories, the Director, OMB, should reexamine the function codes appearing in appendix 2 of the Circular A-76 Supplemental Handbook. This reexamination should include: (1) revising the codes to more accurately capture the activities agencies are performing; (2) defining the codes to ensure they are clearly understood; and (3) ensuring that OMB's official guidance and its website list all of the codes that agencies are authorized to use, including codes that are specific to individual agencies.|
|Office of Management and Budget||Because OMB may lack the necessary time and resources to accomplish this reexamination on its own, the Director, OMB, should consider collaborating with agencies--through such approaches as task forces and interagency councils--as a strategy to gain consensus and consistent follow-through on such reexamination efforts.|
|Office of Management and Budget||The Director, OMB, should reinforce the principles established in OMB's budget procedures memorandum for OMB staff to enhance the consistency of the inventories within and across executive agencies.|