House passes defense bill that would reduce use of contractors

Funding secured for insourcing, supplying troops and cutting wasteful spending

The House of Representatives has approved more than $636 billion in Defense Department spending for fiscal 2010, and the measure would increase oversight to reduce waste and fraud.

The spending bill, approved Dec. 16,  has provisions to reduce spending on contractor outsourcing and improve access controls, and an extension to Feb. 28, 2010, for the Small Business Administration to offer financial breaks to small-business lenders and borrowers.

The bill would spend $5 billion to bring “critical department functions” previously outsourced to defense contractors under the DOD umbrella, a move estimated to save $44,000 per year for each position converted from contract to federal civilian, the measure said.

The legislation would require DOD to bring in-house the task of checking and issuing the Common Access Cards that grant entry to secured facilities and networks across DOD. According to a summary of the bill, the Appropriations Committee found that about 212,000 government contractors were mistakenly issued CACs.

Also, the measure would allocate $288 million for DOD's inspector general to increase oversight of DOD acquisition and contracting activities.

The bill would also provide $104 billion for procurement and $80.5 billion for research and development to cultivate, test and field weapons and equipment to support service members. Some $248.5 million will fund electronic warfare defense, and $2.29 billion will go to development of the restructured Future Combat Systems program.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would receive $3 billion for research and development programs, less than requested due to “chronic under-execution,” the summary said.

The bill can be found here, and the summary can be found here.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

Reader Comments

Fri, Dec 18, 2009 Mr Ellery Milmine Long Beach Ca

I buy food For a Living so I can Comment with some authority on the subject. having stayed in a VA hospital for a period of time I can say that the food served there to the patients is the lowest value I have ever seen .to give an example if you were to purchase a TV dinner at a 99cents only store, you would increase the value of the plate by 400%having been there when federal employee’s were making the food on station for the patients it was good quality food .now what they paid for it to the contractor ? I cannot say but I can tell you its value.Best Regards Ellery Milmine.

Fri, Dec 18, 2009 Scott McLean, VA

"The bill would spend $5 billion to bring “critical department functions” previously outsourced to defense contractors under the DOD umbrella, a move estimated to save $44,000 per year for each position converted from contract to federal civilian, the measure said." That statement is either dishonest or shortsighted. The Fed Gov's decision to outsource was a trade-off of higher short-term costs in exchange for lessened long-term liabilities(pension, Healthcare, etc) that cannot be accurately predicted. Could this be a move by the current admin to grow public sector unions which are a huge source of money and power for Dems?

Fri, Dec 18, 2009 Bob Albuquerque

Sounds good on paper, but given the anticipated mass exodus of federal workers in the next few years due to retirement, the federal government may, by default, shift from "doing less with less" to doing "very little with even less." I trust that the DOL is working with all federal agencies to launch a very agressive recruiting program over the next few years. Speaking of contract employees, wonder if a few might want to be a federal employee?!

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