Contractors becoming DOD mainstay

The Defense Department has increased its reliance on contractors to maintain operations in the past decade because its personnel have been pulled away on military duty, according to a new report.

Following relatively constant spending levels from fiscal 1995 to fiscal 2000, the money going to the private sector skyrocketed from fiscal 2000 to fiscal 2005. In that time period, DOD's operations and maintenance costs increased 57 percent, from $133.4 billion to $209.5 billion, according to a Government Accountability Office report released today.

An increase in military obligations because of the war on terrorism without an increase in personnel led DOD to rely more on the private sector, the report states.

Several other factors added to the uptick. DOD officials told GAO the federal government has a policy of relying on the private sector for commercial services that are not inherently governmental. DOD initiatives, such as competitive sourcing, also contributed to the increase.

DOD's costs for service contracts in areas related to operations and maintenance, such as information technology and administrative services, increased about 73 percent ? from $55.4 billion to $95.9 billion ? from fiscal 2000 to fiscal 2005, the report states.

Spending on data processing and telecommunications increased from $6.3 billion in fiscal 2000 to $11 billion in fiscal 2005, the report states.

DOD spent about 40 percent of its budget to operate and maintain the military forces in fiscal 2005. The operations and maintenance budget is considered one of the major components of funding for readiness.

Matthew Weigelt writes for Federal Computer Week, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • POWER TRAINING: How to engage your customers

    Don't miss our Aug. 2 Washington Technology Power Training session on Mastering Stakeholder Engagement, where you'll learned the critical skills you need to more fully connect with your customers and win more business. Read More

  • PROJECT 38 PODCAST

    In our latest Project 38 Podcast, editor Nick Wakeman interviews Tom Romeo, the leader of Maximus Federal about how it has zoomed up the 2019 Top 100. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.