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Posted at 4:56 PM ET, 02/28/2011

Levin, federal workers slam Army's move to put brakes on insourcing

By Lisa Rein
Lisa Rein

The Army's decision this month to suspend its efforts to move more work in-house has drawn a cool reaction from federal employee unions and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In a Feb. 1 memo, Army Secretary John McHugh suspended any already-approved insourcing and said he will personally authorize all new proposals.

Senate Armed Services chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) told McHugh he's not happy.

In a Feb. 17 letter to McHugh, Levin said he is concerned that the call for better documentation and justification of any future insourcing proposals does not conform to federal law. The U.S. code of laws for the federal government requires the Department of Defense to "identify activities - such as activities closely associated with inherently governmental activities" that should be considered for in-house work, Levin wrote.

The Army is the latest service to express reservations about insourcing, a policy backed by the Obama administration but criticized by contractor advocates as too hastily implemented.

The policy is meant to ensure that federal employees oversee "inherently governmental" work, such as awarding contracts. in a Feb. 4 letter, John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, balked at McHugh's plan , which returns the work to contractors. Outsourcing has the potential to take jobs from federal workers.

Gate was "surprised and disappointed" by the Army's decision. "The Department of Defense added 17,000 positions to its in-house workforce through insourcing," Gage wrote, "saving dollars for taxpayers whether the work was insourced for cost reasons or because it was inappropriate for outsourcing."

Levin pointed out that 2,357 Army contractors were performing "inherently governmental" functions as of last year, according to the Government Accountability Office. "The Department is required by law to develop a plan to consider these services for possible conversion to government performance, as well," he wrote in the letter.

By Lisa Rein  | February 28, 2011; 4:56 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Contracting, unions  
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This is just another example of one of the Services turning over functions to a contractor when it could be done in house. It costs the government more money at a time when we are trying to cut expenses. There is no excuse for this. None. This should be stopped and stopped now by the SECDEF. Just saying "I am not happy" by a Senator doesn't bring home the bacon. Someone needs to put the Sec of the Army in his place and tell him we are cutting contractors and trying to save money, not the other way around. This guy needs to be replaced. He isn't getting the word. DoD needs to cut the number of contractors it has on its payroll by at least half, if not more, and turn those functions over to the federal employees. We would save a bundle. Those federal employees did most of those jobs before the govt went contractor crazy and started giving those jobs to ex-military types and using the buddy system in the form of contractors. It is time to put a stop to this and save a lot of money. Nepotism only goes so far and that road should have come to a dead end long, long ago.

Posted by: nicholjo1 | March 1, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Everyone knows that the military industrial complex and the republican party have deserted America for the power of greed. Its plain to see the secretary of the Army has got his orders which I'm sure are fine with him. We can also be sure that moving up through the military ranks has nothing to do with a good job. Its like the Bush regimes riding coattails with pumped up stories of success that have nothing but questionable fact involved.
So when the big military brass speaks you'll know that their playing a political game of lust and greed that has nothing to do with the population or well being of America, but has only their future of power and money in mind.
You can be sure of one thing, when the nation building is over and trillions of dollars have been invested, we'll all be wondering why? And big oil and the military industrial complex will be counting their money and lusting over power along with examining their contestants for office for the promotion of special interest and the pilfer politics that promote them and their next foreign debacle.

In other words, we pay, we lose, they profit.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | March 2, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

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