OMB abandons governmentwide A-76 goals

Angela Styles, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said the OMB will issue a full report detailing goals for every agency by Sept. 26.

J. Adam Fenster

Succumbing to congressional pressure, the Office of Management and Budget has dropped governmentwide goals for having federal employees compete with the private sector for work.

Angela Styles, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, told lawmakers July 24 that OMB has moved away from "mandated numerical goals and uniform baselines."

"We don't want the numerical goals to be a distraction of what we are trying to do," Styles said before the Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee on the oversight of government management, the federal work force and the District of Columbia. "We had negotiated so many individual goals with agencies that it made sense to get rid of the numerical goals."

OMB wanted to compete 15 percent of all federal jobs considered commercial under OMB Circular A-76 by October, and 50 percent of all positions by 2007.

Those goals came under fire from Congress, the employee unions and the General Accounting Office, which said they were arbitrary and not based on research.

David Walker, GAO's comptroller general, told the subcommittee that are well-researched goals based on fact can be necessary and appropriate. But quotas or arbitrary goals are worthless, he said.

Styles said OMB will issue a full report detailing goals for every agency by Sept. 26.

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