In brief: Capital Roundup

Unions dispute A-76 study

A study sponsored by IBM Corp. and written by former Defense Department Acquisition Chief Jacques Gansler found that of the 65,000 positions competed under the A-76 process, only 5 percent of employees lost jobs involuntarily. The competitions saved 44 percent of baseline costs.

But the findings of the report, "Competitive Sourcing: What Happens to Federal Employees?" drew criticism from unions representing government workers.

John Threlkeld, legislative representative for the American Federation of Government Employees, said the data was "seriously flawed," and the report was not objective because both authors support public-private competitions.

DOD budget passed with strings

Military brass must provide details and justification of several major technology projects as part of the $445.6 billion defense authorization bill.

Starting Jan. 1, no more than $1 million will go to a business system modernization program that does not comply with a business enterprise architecture.

By Sept. 30, the defense secretary must develop an enterprise architecture for all business systems as well as a plan to implement the architecture.

The bill also includes a March 31 deadline for submitting to congressional defense committees a plan for the transition to IP Version 6 and establishing a rapid acquisition process.

Procurement training needed

Many government acquisition officers are not taking full advantage of procurement reforms that began in the 1990s. Acquisition officers want to use the reforms, but lack the skills and training
to do so, according to a new survey by the Professional Services Council.

The number of acquisition officers isn't the problem, but hiring the right people with the right skill sets and training them properly is, according to the survey.

The survey consisted of 90-minute interviews with 36 acquisition officials in nearly every major government agency. The accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP helped to conduct the survey.

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