Magazine article National Defense

In-Sourcing of Government Jobs: Confusion Rules

Magazine article National Defense

In-Sourcing of Government Jobs: Confusion Rules

Article excerpt

The business of in-sourcing government jobs has become progressively more confusing in recent months. After the Obama administration launched plans last year to convert contractor-held positions into civil service slots, panic ensued across the private sector, and industry executives braced for big losses, particularly in services-related contracts. Then came word from Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the Pentagon would be slowing down in-sourcing efforts because it was not clear that it was saving any money, and he called for additional studies before further hiring decisions are made.

A senior Pentagon official who oversees in-sourcing recently met with a group of industry insiders and cautioned that in-sourcing remains the policy, even though, as Gates noted, it is not delivering enough cost savings.

"Secretary Gates wants cuts to contract funding," the official said. "But in-sourcing is alive and well." He also suggested that it was unfortunate that the secretary chose to make these remarks during a briefing on the budget, because cost savings were not the primary purpose of in-sourcing. …

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