“We’ve heard a lot of lies the last few years about how much smaller the DoD work force has become,” stated Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). “DoD’s workforce has not gotten smaller; it’s merely been reconfigured.
“Similarly, contracting out doesn’t save money for DoD; it shifts money from the public sector, where it can be more systematically accounted for, to contractors, where it often sinks in the swamp of waste, fraud, and abuse,” Harnage added. “At the same time it is likely that the Pentagon’s latest report still significantly understates the actual size of the DoD contractor work force.”
Harnage praised the Army for the establishment of a contractor inventory that allows managers and policymakers to understand the size and cost of the service’s contractor work force, the extent to which inherently governmental work has been wrongly given to contractors, and the impact on readiness of contracting out excessive amounts of commercial work. “That’s why the Army’s contractor inventory has won bipartisan praise from House Readiness Subcommittee Chair Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) and Ranking Member Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas),” Harnage noted.
“The Defense Agencies and the other services should use the Army’s methodology to establish their own inventories,” Harnage concluded. “Sure, contractors won’t like being in the spotlight, but just as federal employees have always been, contractors also must be held accountable to warfighters and taxpayers.”