Army vows to cut 7,000 contractor jobs this year
Plan calls for transferring contractors jobs to Army civilians
Army Secretary John McHugh told a Senate committee today that the Army plans to give outsourced jobs that are associated with inherently governmental functions to its civilian employees.
The Army intends to insource 7,162 positions this fiscal year, McHugh said in testimony before the Armed Services Committee. From fiscal 2011 to 2015, the service aims to take back 11,084 positions and give them to civilian employees. Of those, nearly 3,988 are for acquisition-related work, he said.
“Civilians are assuming increased responsibilities within the Army,” he said.
Defense officials hone their insourcing strategy
In fiscal 2009, the Army saved significant resources by bringing back in house more than 900 “core governmental functions,” McHugh added.
Core governmental functions, sometimes called critical functions, are jobs that are very close to inherently governmental functions, or work that only a government employee can do. Outsourcing core jobs can force the government to rely on the private sector's knowledge, and contractors potentially can unduly influence the government, officials say.
“The Army is recouping intellectual capital by insourcing former contracted positions,” McHugh said.
The Army identified these positions to insource in its ongoing contractor inventory review process.
Like McHugh, other military officers and Defense Department officials have announced plans in their fiscal 2011 budget proposals to take away numerous jobs from contractors, in areas such as acquisition and procurement.
Matthew Weigelt is a former FCW senior writer who covered acquisition and procurement.