Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76: Implications for the Future [Updated June 10, 2008] [open pdf - 195KB]
From the Summary: "This report examines the issues surrounding the Walter Reed public-private competition conducted under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 and its potential impact on future Department of Defense (DOD) 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. […] P.L. [Public Law] 110-181, the FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), includes several provisions that affect A-76 competitions. H.R. 5658, the House-passed version of the FY2009 NDAA, contains Section 321, which would limit the conduct of A-76 competitions to 540 days (about 18 months); Section 322, which would require the analysis and development of a single government-wide definition for the term 'inherently governmental function'; and Section 325, which would temporarily suspend DOD A-76 competitions and prevent the conversion of civilian functions to performance by contractors. The Walter Reed A-76 competition was 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 achieving costs savings. 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