WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense’s Jan. 10 directive on handling current budgetary uncertainties reveals the unapologetic bias of the department in favor of contractors, regardless of cost, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said today.
Despite the fact that contractors make up 70% of the Pentagon’s costs for delivering services, while federal employees make up just 30%, DoD is requiring components to reduce the cost of the civilian workforce without any remotely equivalent requirement to reduce contractor costs.
Instead, the only contract-related requirements outlined in the department’s memo are for the services and DoD agencies to “review contracts and studies for possible cost-savings,” which DoD has been required to do by law for several years, and to get approval for contracts and contract modifications for over $500 million.
“Cordoning off contractor costs and focusing almost exclusively on cutting just federal employees is bad budget policy. Worse, it will force more extensive cuts in services for each dollar eliminated than if the costs of contractors were subject to the same level of cuts as civilian employees,” Cox said.
To minimize the impact of spending cuts on actual services, DoD should direct components to take the following actions: