Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors Are Doing

Photo: AP Photo/Gervasio Sanchez
By DAVID FRANCIS, The Fiscal Times June 3, 2013

The number of contractors working in Afghanistan now vastly outnumbers American troops stationed there, according to a Congressional Research Service report. CRS, along with the Government Accountability Office, also determined that the Pentagon is unable to properly document the work these contractors are doing. And the information DOD is receiving is often unreliable and inaccurate.

According to CRS, there are now 108,000 private workers in Afghanistan, a workforce that dwarfs the 65,700 American troops still stationed there. That means there are 1.6 contractors for every American soldier in Afghanistan. This is an increase from last month, when The Fiscal Times reported that there were 1.4 contractors per American soldier.

Given the size of the private forces, it’s not surprising that CRS found that in recent years, the Defense Department spent more than any other agency to support contractor work.

“Over the last six fiscal years, DOD obligations for contracts performed in the Iraq and Afghanistan areas of operation were approximately $160 billion and exceeded total contract obligations of any other U.S. federal agency,” CRS found. Continue reading “Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors Are Doing”

AFGE Blasts Think Tanks’ Defense Recommendations to Slash Civilian Personnel

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June 3, 2013

Contact:Tim Kauffman
202-639-6405/202-374-6491
kaufft@afge.org

AFGE Blasts Think Tanks’ Defense Recommendations to Slash Civilian Personnel

Failure to Identify Significant Savings in Bloated Contractor Workforce is Short-Sighted

WASHINGTON – The recommendations of a group of think tanks, purporting to provide scenarios for cutting the budget of the Department of Defense, fail to meet the laugh test because they focus on massive, indiscriminate and destructive across-the-board cuts in civilian and military personnel, while in most cases leaving the more expensive and less efficient contractor shadow workforce intact, the nation’s largest federal employee union said. 

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr. blasted the plans as academically lazy and said it is financially disastrous to ignore growing contractor costs while recommending cuts ranging from 10 percent to more than 33 percent of the civilian workforce. The blatant failure to show balance and seriously analyze the true costs associated with various personnel recommendations invalidates the think tanks’ findings, he said. Continue reading “AFGE Blasts Think Tanks’ Defense Recommendations to Slash Civilian Personnel”

White House Backing Down on Contractor Compensation Cap

POGO Project On Government Oversight - Blog

White House Backing Down on Contractor Compensation Cap

 May 30, 2013

Updated 5/31/2013

The White House is backing down on its call to significantly reduce the cap on compensation for defense and civilian contractor employees. Last year, the White House proposed reducing the cap to $200,000, roughly equal to a Senate proposal to reduce the cap to $230,700. Despite those efforts, the reduced cap was stripped by the conference committee. Instead, Congress approved a Government Accountability Office report on contractor compensation (Sect. 864).

Now, the White House is backing a significantly higher compensation cap of $400,000 for federal contractor employees. The proposal is in the Defense Department’s legislative package that was sent to Congress in mid-March and, according to Federal News Radio and the file’s metadata, the author of the proposal was an Office of Federal Procurement Policy official. Continue reading “White House Backing Down on Contractor Compensation Cap”

Office of Management and Budget Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Guidance

 EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

WASHINGTON, D.C . 20503

THE DIRECTOR

May 29,2013

M-13-14

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

FROM: Sylvia M. Bur, Director

SUBJECT: Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Guidance

We are continuing to work through a challenging period of budgeting. We have not had the regular order budgeting process that we would prefer, and I understand the compounding challenges that agencies face in continuing to provide vital services and protect mission in an environment of sequestration. These challenges have only increased the President’s resolve to work with Congress on restoring regular order and replacing sequestration with a balanced deficit reduction plan of additional spending cuts and sensible entitlement reforms coupled with revenue from tax reform.

The 2014 Budget included such a balanced approach, with more than enough deficit reduction to cancel sequestration and restore discretionary funding to levels agreed to in the bipartisan Budget Control Act. The 2015 Budget should continue to build on the President’s plan, by reducing spending on lower priority programs in order to create room for effective investments in areas critical to economic growth and job creation, including education, innovation, infrastructure, and research and development. In addition, particularly in these challenging fiscal times, more effective management strategies will be an important component of our overall approach to efficient and responsible budgeting. While I expect this to be another challenging budget year, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) looks forward to working closely with the agencies to make the hard decisions that are necessary to reduce the deficit while investing in critical priorities. Continue reading “Office of Management and Budget Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Guidance”

Agencies Again Must Come Up With 5 Percent in Spending Cuts

Agencies Again Must Come Up With 5 Percent in Spending Cuts

Sylvia Burwell said she is working with the president to "replace sequestration with a balanced deficit reduction plan."Sylvia Burwell said she is working with the president to “replace sequestration with a balanced deficit reduction plan.” Carolyn Kaster/AP

Newly installed White House budget director Sylvia Burwell on Wednesday instructed all agency heads to prepare for a 5 percent spending reduction in budget submissions for fiscal 2015, on top of the 5 percent cuts already planned for the yet-to-be enacted fiscal 2014 budget.

“We have not had the regular order budgeting process that we would prefer, and I understand the compounding challenges that agencies face in continuing to provide vital services and protect mission in an environment of sequestration,” she wrote in a memo dated May 29. “These challenges have only increased the president’s resolve to work with Congress on restoring regular order and replacing sequestration with a balanced deficit reduction plan of additional spending cuts and sensible entitlement reforms coupled with revenue from tax reform.” Continue reading “Agencies Again Must Come Up With 5 Percent in Spending Cuts”