New A-76 draft is 'on my desk,' OMB's Styles says

An interagency task force has almost completed its work on a draft of a new version of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76. The circular dictates rules for public-private competitions for government work.

The draft is based on recent recommendations of the congressionally mandated Commercial Activities Panel.

"I have a draft version on my desk right now," said Angela Styles, administrator of OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Styles testified June 26 before the House Armed Services Committee on military readiness, along with several other members of the Commercial Activities Panel.

The panel spent a year studying the A-76 process, which is widely believed, in both government and industry, to be too costly, too lengthy and too disruptive to federal employees.

A two-thirds majority of the panel recommended changes to the A-76 process, as well as a move to a system of public-private competition based on the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which now provides only for competition among private entities for federal work.

Styles said the revamped circular will provide two processes: a modified A-76 process and a FAR-based process, which allows for consideration of best value, not just low cost, in making source decisions. The draft should be released for a 60-day comment period this summer, she said.

The panel, a group of government, industry and federal employee union officials, made its report to Congress April 30. The House Government Reform subcommittee on technology and procurement policy is also expected to hold a hearing this summer to discuss the report.

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