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DOD Competitive Sourcing: More Consistency Needed in Identifying Commercial Activities

NSIAD-00-198 Published: Aug 11, 2000. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2000.
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to identify functions that could be studied for potential competition between the public and private sectors, focusing on: (1) whether DOD has improved the identification of commercial activities that could be studied under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76; and (2) the likelihood that DOD will increase the number of functions and positions studied under A-76.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To improve the way DOD's components categorize activities, the Secretary of Defense should increase consistency in identification of commercial activities among and within the services and Defense agencies by making decisions on whether certain activities, such as child care and public affairs, are generally to be considered eligible for competition.
Closed – Implemented
The Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of Competitive Sourcing expects to issue guidance on or about November 1, 2002. The revised guidance is intended to create a centralized approach and provide consistency among the services and Defense agencies in identifying commercial activities. This guidance is expected to improve the next data submission. An OSD official stated that this should allow them to be in a much better position to analyze the differences in coding of commercial and inherently governmental positions among the defense components. Examples will be placed in the guidance to show what OSD considers commercial or not.

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