Feds vs. Contractors: Federal Employees Often Save Money, But an Advisory Panel is Needed to Create a Cost Comparison Model

Feds vs. Contractors: Federal Employees Often Save Money, But an Advisory Panel is Needed to Create a Cost Comparison Model

 April 15, 2013 | By: Scott H. Amey, J.D.

April 15, 2013, POGO Letter to OMB

April 15, 2013

Office of Federal Procurement Policy
Office of Management and Budget
ATTN: Ms. Aisha Hasan
725 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20503

Submitted via regulations.gov

Subject: Public Comments on the Use of Cost Comparisons

Dear Ms. Hasan:

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment regarding the use of cost comparisons outlined at 78 Fed. Reg. 11232 (February 15, 2013). Founded in 1981, POGO is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. POGO has a keen interest in government contracting matters, especially the important but often ignored issue of service contracting costs.

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced a public meeting on March 5, 2013, and requested public comments on “the practice of comparing the relative cost of performance by Federal employees versus contract performance in order to identify the most cost-effective source.” POGO hopes that all of the oral and written comments will be used to create a comprehensive cost comparison model that will be used when making human capital planning decisions.

Establishing a uniform, effective cost comparison model is one of the most, if not the most, important tasks facing the government today. This model, whether established by improving the A-76 process or building a new cost comparison process, must be initiated earlier in the human capital policy and planning phase. It also must compare the full life-cycle costs of outsourcing federal services to contractors with the costs of having those services performed by federal employees.

POGO realizes that such a system is difficult to create and will be subject to harsh criticism by all stakeholders involved. However, previous decisions to hire military or civilian personnel or to contract out have often been made without any strategic thinking about government operations and costs, and that needs to change. Continue reading “Feds vs. Contractors: Federal Employees Often Save Money, But an Advisory Panel is Needed to Create a Cost Comparison Model”

Government pensions among budget bargaining points: ‘Why does Congress always pick on federal employees?’

Crumpled dollar bill.jpeg.JPG
(Contributed photo/Thinkstock)Thinkstock.

Government employees would be required to contribute more towards their pensions while federal retirees would see their benefit cuts under a Republican proposal designed to offset the impact of sequestration.

Reps. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo. and Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla. have introduced the “Provide for the Common Defense Act” in an effort to roll back the Pentagon’s portion of sequestration through changes to federal benefits. The bill would also lower the federal deficit by some $200 billion over the next decade. Continue reading “Government pensions among budget bargaining points: ‘Why does Congress always pick on federal employees?’”

GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts

GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts

Published December 05, 2013

FoxNews.com

RTREIRE.jpgAn aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington.Reuters

Two Republican lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would require federal employees to contribute more of their salary toward retiree benefits in order to offset deep cuts to the Defense Department.

The “Provide for the Common Defense Act,” introduced by Reps. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., and Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., would eliminate sequester-related budget cuts for the Pentagon over the next two years, the lawmakers said in a statement.

The legislation increases federal employee’s contributions toward their retirement costs, from 0.8 percent to 2.0 percent of pay, over a three-year period. The bill would also eliminate the Federal Employee Retirement System Annuity Supplement for new employees.   Continue reading “GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts”

OFPP’s proposed increase in contractor salary cap upsets all

OFPP’s proposed increase in contractor salary cap upsets all

Thursday – 12/5/2013, 4:27am EST

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy made nobody happy Wednesday when it raised the cap executive pay for contractors by $190,000 for fiscal 2012.

In a Federal Register notice, OFPP Administrator Joe Jordan said the new benchmark for allowable costs would be $952,308, up from $763,029 in 2011.

What’s unclear is why OFPP is announcing the cap for 2012 when fiscal 2014 started Oct. 1. Continue reading “OFPP’s proposed increase in contractor salary cap upsets all”

Expect Sequestration to Hit Much Harder in 2014, Report Says

Expect Sequestration to Hit Much Harder in 2014, Report Says

USDA was able to avoid furloughing meat inspectors in 2013.
USDA was able to avoid furloughing meat inspectors in 2013. Michael A. Mariant/AP file photo

Less severe cuts, deferred costs and temporary solutions mitigated sequestration’s effect in its inaugural year, but will not help lessen the impact in 2014, according to a new report.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, said the tactics federal agencies used to reduce furloughs in fiscal 2013 are, in many cases, no longer available. In fact, they will largely accentuate the severity of the cuts this time around.

For example, Congress allowed the Federal Aviation Administration to move funds from an account meant to provide maintenance to airports nationwide to avoid furloughs of air traffic controllers that would have delayed flights. Similar budgetary “gimmicks” were employed at the Agriculture Department to stave off furloughs of meat inspectors and by the Justice Department, which has already announced plans of 10 furlough days for FBI agents in 2014.

Continue reading “Expect Sequestration to Hit Much Harder in 2014, Report Says”