DOD Needs to Better Oversee In-sourcing Data and Align In-sourcing Efforts with Strategic Workforce Plans

February 9, 2012

DOD reported on two of three issues required by law: the component involved with each of its fiscal year 2010 in-sourcing actions and the rationale for each action. However, DOD did not report the number of contractor employees whose functions were in-sourced, because, DOD officials said, the department does not have these data. Specifically, the department noted, in its report to Congress, that it contracts for services and does not hire individual contractor employees. Instead, DOD reported the number of new civilian authorizations created due to in-sourcing. Congress has separately required DOD to report the number of contractor employees performing services for DOD, expressed as full-time equivalents, as part of its inventory of activities performed under contracts for services. In its in-sourcing report, DOD said that efforts to comply with this additional requirement may in the future help inform the number of contractor full-time equivalents in-sourced.

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD (P&R)) requested information from DOD components on fiscal year 2010 in-sourcing actions to produce its report, and the military departments and OUSD (P&R) took varying, and in some instances limited, approaches to ensuring the data's reliability. Additionally, some of the commands GAO contacted made errors in reporting in-sourcing data. For example, 348 of 354 new in-sourcing authorizations by the Navy's Fleet Forces Command were categorized as inherently governmental when they should have been categorized as exempt from private sector performance for continuity of infrastructure operations. Federal internal control standards state that data verification helps provide management with reasonable assurance of achieving agency objectives, including compliance with laws. Without accurate data, decision-makers in DOD and Congress may not have reliable information to help manage and oversee DOD in-sourcing. 

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