Federal and state governments own and lease drilling equipment and use
government employees to perform groundwater-related drilling that could be
performed by the private sector. The federal government's policy regarding the
performance of commercial activities is contained in Circular A-76 and
"The Federal Government shall rely on commercially available sources to
provide commercial products and services. In accordance with the provisions of
this Circular, the Government shall not start or carry on any activity to
provide a commercial product or service if the product of service can be
procured more economically from a commercial source."
Circular A-76 establishes a policy of achieving economy and enhancing
productivity through the use of cost comparisons. Whenever commercial sector
performance of a gvernment-perated commercial activity is permissible,
comparison of the cost of contracting and the cost of in-house performance shall
be performed to determine who will do the work.
Circular A-76 defines commercial activity as: "...one which is operated by a
Federal executive agency and which provides a product or service which could be
obtained from a commercial source...." A governmental function is defined as
"...a function which is so intimately related to the public interest as to
mandate performance by Government employees. These functions include those
activities which require either the exercise of discretion in applying
Government authority or the use of value judgment in making decisions for the
Research and development are not within the scope of Circular A-76, however,
several in-house commercial activities in support of research and development
are normally subject to the circular and its supplement.
Excerpted from the Government Competition Supporting Document approved by the
NGWA Government Affairs Committee on August 19, 1993.
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National Ground Water Association
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(614 898.7791 outside the US)
fax 614 898.7786