Eye Opener: Group warns of cutting DHS contractors
Happy Wednesday! A contractor industry group has warned that the Department of Homeland Security should closely study the size and scope of its contracting jobs before it "insources" positions to the federal payroll.
DHS officials are reviewing its mix of private and public-sector workers after announcing last month that the department employs at least 12,000 more contractors than federal workers.
The Professional Services Council, which represents roughly 300 government contracting companies, said in a letter sent Tuesday to lawmakers and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that DHS should avoid establishing quotas for insourcing.
“Insourcing solely for the sake of insourcing or on the basis of arbitrary quotas will have a negative impact on meeting critical mission challenges and increase, not reduce, costs to the taxpayer,” PSC President Stan Soloway said.
The warning comes as contracting firms grow nervous about the Obama administration's planned contracting reforms that include cutting high risk, sole-source deals and issuing new guidance on the tasks and services that only government employees can perform.
The administration's contracting reforms could spell the end of lucrative contracting deals of all sizes. Witness Northrup Grumman admission earlier this week that the Pentagon's new emphasis on fixed price contracts was part of the reason they dropped their bid for the multibillion dollar air tanker deal.
Keep close watch in the coming months as DHS and the White House try to strike a balance between business and taxpayer interests. Take it too far in one direction and the administration could either get tagged for fostering an unfriendly business environment or not caring enough to cut government waste.
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• Question of the Week: In the wake of last week's Pentagon shooting, if you're a federal worker, do you feel safe at your place of work? If you're not a federal worker, do you feel that nearby federal facilities are well protected? Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org and please include your full name, hometown, the agency for which you work. Your thoughts may be used in Friday's Washington Post.
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U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE:
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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS:
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| March 10, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Contracting, Eye Opener
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