Marine accounting competition delayed

Defense Finance and Accounting Service Web site

Officials at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) announced late last week that they will not issue a planned A-76 competition that could have privatized Marine Corps accounting.

A provision in the recently signed Defense Authorization Act prevents the Defense Department from continuing with any A-76 competitions until Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld can submit to Congress a report detailing the effects of the Office of Management and Budget's new rules, which were issued in May.

DFAS officials announced in May they would begin conducting an A-76 competition of the Marine Corps Accounting Services, based in Kansas City, Mo. It would eventually pit commercial vendors against government employees for the opportunity to perform the accounting services.

DFAS officials said Dec. 11 the competition would not begin until at least 45 days after DOD officials release a report evaluating the new competition rules.

The secretary's report is supposed to address:

* The extent to which the revised rules will ensure employees of DOD have the opportunity to compete to retain their jobs.

* The extent to which the revised circular will provide appeal and protest rights to DOD employees.

* Safeguards to ensure that all public/private competitions are fair, appropriate and compliant with requirements of full and open competition.

* Plans to ensure an appropriate phase-in period for the revised circular, including recommendations for any legislative changes that may be required to ensure a smooth and efficient phase-in period.

* Employee training, including how it will be funded, how workers will be selected to receive training and the number of employees likely to receive it.

* Collection and analysis of data on costs and quality of work contracted out or retained in-house as a result of a sourcing process.

No dates have been set for when the report will be produced and submitted to Congress.

A-76 competitions traditionally take as long as three years, but under the revised OMB Circular A-76, competition should be limited to about one year.


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