Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76: Implications for the Future [Updated October 10, 2007] [open pdf - 195KB]
From the Summary: "This report examines the issues surrounding the recent Walter Reed public-private competition conducted under OMB [Office of Management and Budget] Circular A-76 and its potential impact on future Department of Defense competitions. Circular A-76 is a policy and a process first initiated in 1966 that was designed to determine whether federal employees or private sector contractors are best to perform activities deemed commercial. A series of articles that first appeared in the 'Washington Post' chronicled the dilapidated conditions and the substandard medical treatment afforded to returning veterans. Media reports surrounding the competition have suggested that one possible contributing factor to the Walter Reed controversy was the decision to privatize base support services. […] Some have suggested that constrained Army resources, due to a convergence of events, may have caused and/or contributed to the problems in the competition, and may have led to the attrition of skilled base support services staff. Other factors which may have affected the process were the entry of the United States into combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendation for the consolidation of Army and Navy military medical services into a single tertiary hospital at the campus of the Bethesda Naval Hospital (effectively closing the Walter Reed campus), a surge in the number of outpatient medical care visits for veterans returning from the war; and the Army's push to achieve the Bush Administration's competitive sourcing goals. The Walter Reed A-76 competition is a case where a lot of things went wrong. Some assert that for some types of settings (like military medical facilities) conducting A-76 competitions may not be the most appropriate vehicle for saving money. Congress may want to act so that what happened at Walter Reed not happen elsewhere. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34140