That's what New York University professor Paul Light says is the best word to describe what life has been like for many federal employees.
In case you missed his column, take a look here.
The numbers are compelling. Just seeing them again make us heave a sigh of uncertainty.
"The Bush administration, however, decided that the best way to reform government was to outsource it," he wrote in a column for the Post. "From 2001 to 2005, civilian employment remained at 1.8 million, more or less, while the estimated number of contractor jobs surged from 4.4 million to 7.6 million."
As others have noted, the federal government that President-elect Obama inherits is in a bad way. We'll save the speech about the contracting workforce for another time. We'll also bypass some other matters. Government Inc. will revisit those and other issues. For now, let's focus on this line from Light, which will mean a lot when it comes to making the use of contractors work.
"The impact of the criticism and outsourcing are unmistakable in survey after survey of federal employees. Morale is down, while complaints about the lack of resources are up. Most federal employees rate their middle- and upper-level managers as mediocre at best and not improving. The frustration cuts across every agency. The vast majority of federal employees want to make a difference for their communities and country but report shortages in virtually every resource needed to succeed, not the least of which is enough employees to enforce the laws."
As contractors themselves note, it takes a good, motivated government workforce to get the most out of their private-sector partners.
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Posted by: teddi_ohio | November 26, 2008 5:46 PM
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