The Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 outlines the procedures for conducting a cost comparison of private-sector and in-house performance of commercial activities. The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Chancellor’s office asked the RAND Corporation to assess the effects of A-76 cost comparisons on DoD civilian education and training. The authors found that there are considerable concerns with A-76, including its length and adverse effects on employee morale and customer service. These concerns are not, in general, specific to education and training. However, despite these concerns, there may not be a way for commensurate savings to be achieved without A-76. In fact, many of the negative comments the authors heard in interviews with involved personnel might be attributable to dissatisfaction with budget cuts. Also, the authors found that A-76s may result in different demand for training services. Training demands may also be different because future government leaders must be trained to effectively oversee contractors. The now-common DoD phenomenon of a long-time government-employed civilian overseeing individuals in a job the long-time employee once held may become less common.
The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.
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