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.

Related story:

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.

About the Author

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

Reader Comments

Wed, Oct 15, 2014 Vic

A while back, the Navy instituted a Commercial Activities (CA) Program. Certain government functions were identified in order to condct a cost benefit analysis. Those functions were then contracted out and reviewed over a period of years. It was determined then that these functions could indeed be contracted out at significant cost savings to the government. One function in particular that was contracted out and resulted in significant savings were Navy SERVMARTs. Even today the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), whose inherent function is to serve as a stable network system, provides 70% of the Navy's IT requirements. This is run by a private company who bid on the IT requirement. Perhaps the Army should conduct such a process and evaluate its performance over a period of years.

Sun, Jan 2, 2011

I have been both DA-CIV and CTR within the same organization. CIV positions at my installation for IT are a rarity! The DoD seems to like to keep the CTR's in this realm due to the specialized expertise of IT that most CTR's in IT have, plus the Army saves millions of dollars a year in benefits and not to mention retirement! CTR's benefits are NOT covered in the awarded contract ergo not paid for by the GOVT, and all GOVT awarded contracts can be cxled after its initial term, or choose not to fulfill the full term(i.e. 5 years if all options excersized with an initial performance period of 3 years)

Tue, Mar 23, 2010

I have been in the “dark side” , contractor world, for over 10 years and I have seen all types of civilian and government employees. From the upmost of dedication, acumen and professionalism to the not so hot end of the spectrum. I can account for one of the above posters comments regarding the ease of establishing contracts for specific skillets or short term projects, and then moving on without the hassles of moving the GS,CS,YA,etc… to another section. I won’t even get into the sub-par govt employee and the circus it takes to remove that individual. AS a contractor, the client can request your removal if you are not performing to the PWS and you’re out the door. I don’t mean to focus on the ease of removing an individual. I do want to say that the relationship b/t industry and government is as old as the nation and cannot survive w/o each other. What I see is the knee-jerk reaction of complying with the current administrations goals w/o regard as to the consequences of in sourcing most functions will cost in the near-term. What I don’t see mentioned here is the government deliberately “stealing” industry talent to return a function in house. Whether inherently a governmental only function or not, what does that say for the contractor that invested time, money on that individual; sourced him to fulfill the customers mission, and the customer is now hiring that individual off from the contractor? And, of course, no finder’s fee. This seems to align with the current administrations apparent economic stimulus motive of job creation by growing government while stealing from private industry. What is the individual supposed to do if the overall costs of relocating to another position, one that won’t get in sourced, do. I don’t blame the individual, for we all have our motives. Dark times are ahead indeed.

Mon, Mar 22, 2010

I think we need to go back 15-20+ years or so and consider that history shows contractors are cheaper as the various A76 and other studies have shown. when you consider the medical, retirement, etc, studies/experience show contract costs are less than civil service. Separately, contractors are easy to get/use then get rid of for short term jobs. Its virtually impossible to get rid of (or move) excess civil service. Additionally, its easier to specify certifications, etc for contractors than for civil service. I have no objection to civil service for the 'gov required positions' but to do it for purpose of getting unskilled employeed isn't the way to go. Admittedly, now that retired military officers, retired civil services can now come back as civil service makes it easier to get experience.

Sat, Mar 6, 2010 Geek DC

Far too long the mantra is that industry could do things better, faster, cheaper. Functions were outsourced to give retiring military jobs in industry, harsh but true. Lobbyists wielded far too much influence. True experience within the Government was lost as the most senior and knowledgeable people left to industry. We know have a workforce that is hollow and needs to be rebuilt. How producing ammunition and designing and building Military specific hardware could ever be viewed as not a Government function was nuts. Companies whose work is almost 100% military or Government is the result of the cry to downsize Government when in fact we just changed the packaging.

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