Circular A-76 and the Moratorium on DOD Competitions: Background and Issues for Congress [January 17, 2012]   [open pdf - 400KB]

"This report discusses the current moratorium on the conduct of Department of Defense (DOD) public-private competitions under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 and issues for Congress. There is a long-standing public debate over the conduct of A-76 competitions. The policy of the government relying on the private sector for the performance of commercial services was first initiated by the Bureau of the Budget during the Eisenhower Administration. OMB Circular A- 76, first issued in 1966, defines federal policy for determining whether recurring commercial activities should be performed by the private sector or federal employees. The Circular has been revised several times; the latest revision was released in 2003. [...] Congress has directed the completion of several reports before the moratorium can be lifted. The congressionally-required reports are the 'Section 325' report which DOD was required to submit to Congress within 30 days of the enactment of the FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act, the DOD Inspector General's report on issues involving DOD's conduct of A-76 competitions, and two Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports: one on DOD's conduct of public-private competitions, and the other on DOD's inventory of service contracts. All of these reports have been completed except the GAO assessment on the inventory of service contracts. Some policymakers advocate an end to the moratorium on the conduct of DOD A-76 competitions. Questions about the moratorium are largely centered around to what extent the problems identified with Circular A-76 have been corrected, and whether the congressionally required reports have been completed and the issues resolved to the satisfaction of Congress."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40854
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