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A-76 (Rev.), Attachment B:  C. Streamlined Competition Procedures.  Use of solicitation.

Comptroller General - Key Excerpts

The protester states that seven federal employees are currently performing the cemetery maintenance services at the Chattanooga Cemetery. The protester argues that the VA is violating the OMB Circular by directly converting functions performed by federal employees to contractor performance without conducting a cost comparison. The protester also maintains that the affected employees have been placed at a competitive disadvantage by the agency’s action because they were not allowed to compete to retain their own work.  The VA responds that it has not converted a function performed by federal employees, because no agency job has been affected or lost as a result of the RFP. The agency states that it has been contracting for these services since 2001 and that it has informed current employees that this contract action would not have an impact on current cemetery employees. The agency also states that current employees perform interments, raising/realigning of headstones, grounds maintenance, such as grave repair, over seeding, headstone cleaning, shelter preparations, sod application, herbicide applications, equipment/vehicle maintenance, and program preparations. The agency states that as a result of the award under this RFP, the current employees will perform all of their current functions except headstone alignments and mowing. 

With respect to the OMB Circular, the protester correctly notes that the current version of the Circular prescribes two types of cost comparisons. Where 65 or more full time equivalents (FTEs) are involved, the Circular requires a “standard competition”; where fewer than 65 FTEs are involved, the Circular permits either a standard or a “streamlined competition.” OMB Circular A-76 (May 29, 2003), attach. B, at B-1. In the situation here, the protester argues that the Circular requires, at a minimum, a streamlined competition for these requirements.  In reviewing the protester’s allegations, we note that even though the Circular speaks of requiring a streamlined competition when a commercial activity is performed by an aggregate of 65 or fewer FTEs, as this one is, the Circular permits an agency to decide to contract out work based solely on an internal analysis without the issuance of a solicitation, and hence without use of the procurement system. Where an agency is not required to use the procurement system, and does not do so, our bid protest function has no role in reviewing the agency’s actions. See Vallie Bray, B‑293840, B‑293840.2, Mar. 30, 2004, 2004 CPD para. 52 at 3. (Lisa Hartman-Designated Employee Agent, B-311247, May 6, 2008) (pdf)

Comptroller General - Listing of Decisions

For the Government For the Protester
Lisa Hartman-Designated Employee Agent, B-311247, May 6, 2008 (pdf)  


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