New rules streamline A-76

Angela Styles, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy

New procedures for conducting public-private competitions of federal work have shortened the time allowed for such competition, previously as long as four years, to just one year.

And rather than requiring sourcing decisions be made on lowest cost, the new Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 allows agencies to consider other factors, particularly for information technology competitions.

The new circular also eliminates a provision that allowed agencies to convert 10 or fewer full-time positions to the private sector without competition.

The new circular, issued May 28, is the first major A-76 revision since 1983. Both industry and government officials criticized the old process as unfair, too complicated and too lengthy.

Angela Styles, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said the new, more flexible, faster process should encourage more private firms to participate in public-private competitions.

Industry observers, however, said it's too early to tell whether private companies will embrace the new A-76.

Styles said several agencies, which have been waiting for the new rules, should announce new competitions soon.

To see how the new circular compares to the old rules, go to www.washingtontechnology.com and type 105 in the Quickfind box.

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