Air Force CIO: A-76 too slow

Navigating the complex legal framework set up by Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 takes far too much time to efficiently outsource information technology positions, according to the Air Force's chief information officer.

"We're struggling because we want to outsource, but not with A-76; it takes too darn long," Air Force CIO John Gilligan said during his remarks today at an executive breakfast hosted by Input Inc. in Falls Church, Va. Circular A-76 outlines how the public and private sectors compete for commercial-like government functions.

Specifically, the Air Force has decided that it wants to reassign personnel serving in the Air Force Pentagon Communications Agency (AFPCA) and place them back in core warfighting job functions, Gilligan said.

AFPCA provides information systems services for Air Force headquarters, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and other Defense Department professionals within the National Capital Region.

"The legal framework to do that is very complex," Gilligan told FCW. "Our progress is gated by that legal framework. We're trying to find a good way to do it, but we're struggling. With A-76, it will take [more than] three years to do, and we want to do it next year."

In the private sector, companies can move their employees around at their own discretion, but government workers are protected by laws and provisions, such as A-76, that ensure all due diligence has been carried out before they are reassigned or their jobs are terminated. Gilligan said the Air Force is trying to balance the need to reduce workforce size while protecting government employees' rights.

"There are legitimate but conflicting interests of the need to downsize and outsource [along] with protecting the incumbent workforce," he said.

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