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Halt the Outsourcing, For Now: That's the sentiment in March 26 letters sent to heads of DOD and OMB by two key lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee, chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and readiness panel chairman Solomon Ortiz (D-Tex.). The two veteran Congressmen point out that the A-76 process, originally designed to find the "most competitive and efficient source" for handling commercial services, has become "almost a mandate" to push "more and more work into the private sector, even work that is closely associated with inherently governmental functions" to meet "arbitrary competition goals." They point to a March 4 memo by President Obama in which he states the lines between activities should not be outsourced and those that may "has been blurred and inadequately defined. … Agencies must operate under clear rules prescribing when outsourcing is and is not appropriate." The A-76 process has generated problems throughout DOD, raising union hackles in many cases and prompting the DOD Inspector General to note that Air Force officials have felt pressure to conduct A-76 studies to meet tighter budgets. Skelton and Ortiz ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to "immediately halt any pending A-76 studies as well as the initiation or announcement of any A-76 study" to provide the Administration and Congress time to review DOD's program and determine "the best course forward." They ask OMB Director Peter Orszag to "undertake a comprehensive review" of DOD's A-76 program. (Letter to Gates; letter to Orszag)