By Jason Peckenpaugh
March 20, 2001In response to a review of the A-76 process at the U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon will require personnel who perform public-private competitions to meet minimum training requirements.
In a Feb. 1 memo, Randall Yim, deputy undersecretary of Defense for installations, directed the military services to develop training requirements for all officials involved in A-76 competitions. Services may determine their own minimum training standards, and the requirement affects only new A-76 competitions. "We wanted a standardization of A-76 training requirements," said Annie Andrews, assistant director of the competitive sourcing office at the Pentagon. The new standards bring an end to a Defense Department review of Air Force A-76 competitions ordered in December by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Rudy de Leon. Although de Leon tasked Jacques Gansler, then undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics to perform a review of the Air Force A-76 process, the Pentagon accepted the conclusions of a separate Air Force review of A-76 competitions instead. "The Air Force had already set up a [review] team," said Andrews. "We felt their team took a pretty rigid look at things, so we didn't have to reinvent the wheel [by performing an additional study]." While Yim's memo directs services to immediately develop training requirements, he specifies that the new standards should not interfere with upcoming A-76 studies. "These standards may be phased in over time so as not to delay planned A-76 competitions," Yim wrote. The Pentagon's inspector general's office is currently performing another review of a controversial Air Force decision to outsource more than 700 airfield support positions at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. De Leon ordered the Defense IG to review the award of a $336 million, five and one-half year contract to Lackland 21st Century Services Consolidated, a California-based contractor. Six Texas lawmakers urged de Leon to investigate the Lackland decision, which marked the second time the Air Force reversed itself in the case.
By Jason Peckenpaugh
March 20, 2001