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Main Menu - A-76/FAIR Act A76/Fair Act What is A76? A76 Policy What is the Fair Act Contacts and Links

Welcome to the NIH A-76/Commercial Services Management and FAIR Act Inventory Program

The objective of this site is to give an understanding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) A-76/Commercial Services Management and FAIR Act Inventory Program. We will keep this site updated with current information.

NIH employees may locate additional information at: (NIH access only)

This Welcome Page contains the following sections:


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) first issued Circular A-76 in 1966, which describes a methodology to compare costs of conducting commercial services in the Federal Government with similar services in the private sector and other agencies. Federal agencies should use this guidance when comparing costs. It has been updated many times.

The previous administration created a program named Competitive Sourcing that required agencies to compare the costs of commercial services conducted in-house with the private sector or other agencies using OMB Circular A-76 methodology. For all practical purposes, the current administration is not requiring additional comparisons, but the Most Efficient Organizations (MEO) that were created as a result of a Competitive Sourcing competition must continue to perform.

OMB has since renamed the Competitive Sourcing program to Commercial Services Management.

The Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act of 1998 is a law that requires an annual inventory of commercial and inherently governmental activities for all federal agencies. OMB Circular A-76 provides additional information about this inventory. Agencies update this inventory annually.



The A-76/Commercial Services Management and FAIR Act Inventory Program are located in the Office of the Director (OD), Office of Management (OM), and Office of Management Assessment (OMA), Division of Management Support (DMS).



The goals of the A-76/Commerical Services Management and FAIR Act Inventory Program include to:

  • Support the direction of the Administration and Congress.
  • Conduct A-76 studies as required.
  • Perform Post Competition Accountability (PCA) activities.
  • Support development of efficient organizations.
  • Manage the FAIR Act inventory.
  • Complete Reports and Assessments.
  • Provide advice to management and employees.


A-76 Working Groups

  • Commercial Activities Steering Committee (CASC) – The CASC advises the Deputy Director for Management (DDM) concerning policies and procedures related to the Commercial Services Management Program and the FAIR Act Inventory. The CASC also makes operational decisions to ensure NIH successfully meets its responsibilities under the FAIR Act, Commercial Services Management, and OMB Circular A-76. The CASC provides coordination and oversight; and fosters communication and cooperation among the NIH ICs, offices, and employees involved in the development of the FAIR Act Inventory and in efforts undertaken to meet the requirements of the OMB Circular A-76.

  • Functional Co-Chairs – The Functional Co-Chairs serve as experts in one of eight broad functional areas of work performed at the NIH. Co-Chair workgroups convene when necessary to consider A-76 policy associated with their areas. They report results and recommendations to the CASC. Co-Chairs also review and validate their portion of the FAIR Act Inventory each year. The functional Co-Chairs head and actively participate in each Preliminary Planning Team, prior ro any A-76 competition

  • Commercial Activities Review Team (CART) – The CART implements decisions regarding A-76 policy and competitions. It provides overall monitoring and coordination for the NIH A-76 process and serves as the NIH interface for A-76 points of contact in the ICs. The CART coordinates and tracks the FAIR Act Inventory, overall study planning for NIH, and individual study performance from preliminary planning through the competition decision and to formal stand-up of the selected Service Provider. The CART also provides technical support to A-76 teams throughout the process.


Latest News

Appropriations Acts of 2009 and 2010

  • The Appropriations Acts of 2009 and 2010 stated none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act may be used to begin or announce a study or public-private competition of any function performed by Federal employees pursuant to OMB Circular A-76 or any other administrative regulation, directive, or policy.

NIH Circular A-76 Activity: 2009-2010

  • As a result of the appropriation acts, NIH did not begin any new A-76 competitions in FY 2009 and FY 2010 will not be conducting new A-76 competitions in FY 2011.
  • The NIH is still required to perform activities associated with the A-76 competitions completed prior to 2009.
  • NIH must continue to prepare and submit the annual FAIR Act Inventory, perform Post-Competition Accountability (PCA) tracking and reporting for all existing (previously competed) Most Efficient Organizations (MEO), and ensure the continuity of functions now performed by the current MEOs.

Historic Study/Competition Data

  • From 2003 to 2008, NIH conducted thirty-eight OMB Circular A-76 competitions. Thirty-seven competitions remained in-house and Letters of Obligation (LOO) guide the performance of these organizations. One competition resulted in a contract award. A complete list of competitions conducted between 2003 – 2008 can be found here: NIH_Competitions_Conducted2003-2008.pdf


Contact Us

A-76/Commercial Services Management Program
6011 Executive Blvd, Suite 601
Rockville, Maryland 20892-7669
Phone: 301-496-4606
Fax: 301-402-0169


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Last updated on:
December 10, 2010

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