Officials outline A-76 process

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE -- The military and civilian workforce has been shaken up over the past year with force shaping and Presidential Budget Decision 720 results.

With more workforce changes on the way in the form of an A-76 Cost Comparison Study, a few military and civilians attended two town hall meetings Oct. 11 at the base theater to find out more information on their futures.

Most of all, they were concerned about how they were going to be impacted individually.

"There's no denying that there's not going to be an impact on people's lives," 82nd Training Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux said. "That's why the best thing we can do to help alleviate those concerns is to explain the process."

Col. Marti Rossi, the 82nd TRW inspector general and director of competitive sourcing, said there are two competing teams in the process: the contractor's Performance Work Statement team and the Most Efficient Organization team representing the government. Both teams will compile data regarding the workload that goes with each position and make a bid on what it would cost for their team to perform the same work.

The PWS team writes the work requirements and the MEO prepares a government proposal to respond to the PWS offer along with private contractors. Each team has a different, but critical role in the A-76 process.

In all, 508 positions are being considered in the study, including activities in civil engineering, the fitness centers, the 82nd Communications Squadron, instructional technology unit and trainer development.

Colonel Rossi said it's important to remember the study is not targeting individuals.

"It's about spaces, not faces," she said.

Sandy Pyott, a representative from the Air Education and Training Command Civilian Personnel Operations Division, said there are only two results of the process: the MEO is selected to perform the jobs or a contractor will provide the services. There will be no military positions regardless of which service provider is selected.

In developing the MEO, the goal is to create a leaner, meaner more cost-effective workforce that would be manned by federal employees. Civilians would assume the duties of their military counterparts. But, there could be reassignments as a result of the selection.

If a contractor is selected as the service provider, all military and civilian authorizations will be replaced by the contractor's employees. Contractors do, however, have the option to hire current Sheppard employees to continue the work.

Ms. Pyott said if a civilian employee chooses not to accept an offer from the contractor, they will have priority placement within the Defense Department. The program will match up qualifications with jobs available in DoD. If the civil service employee chooses to decline that offer, then a reduction-in-force action takes place.

Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76, which provides guidance on the study, allows 12 months for the study with an extra six months permitted by waiver request. After the final decision, the base has 240 days to process civilian personnel actions and a 120-day reduction-in-force notification period.

All isn't doom and gloom, though. Dan Roberts, the deputy director for the competitive sourcing office, said although nothing is guaranteed, it could be good news if the MEO wins.

"If the MEO wins, the force may be smaller," he said, reminding the audience that half of the force being considered are military billets and the MEO would become an all-civilian workforce. "But if the MEO wins, there could be more civilian jobs available. That is a possible outcome."

Some employees asked questions about when the transition would actually take place. Members of the panel said the process will be finished by April 2009, but decisions regarding personnel would begin as early as April 2008.

"At that point, in April '08, then we'll look at the size of the (reduction-in-force)," said Sandra Brooks, a representative of Sheppard's civilian personnel office. Then considerations regarding Voluntary Early Retirement Authorizations, Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments, reassignment of employees and priority placement comes into play.

For more information, click on the "A-76 Study" link on the Sheppard Portal home page.