The Right Worker Mix

June 3, 2013

The Defense Department, facing a future of sharply reduced budgets, isn’t fast enough off the dime when it comes to getting the right mix of civilians and contractors, the Government Accountability Office said.

“DOD has increasingly relied on contractors both overseas and in the United States to perform many of the same functions as civilian employees,” the GAO said in a report sent Wednesday to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Senate and House Armed Services committees.

In fiscal 2011, it had an estimated 710,000 contractor FTEs, or full-time-equivalent employees. It also employed about 807,000 in its civilian workforce. And there were 1.4 million in active service and an additional 850,000 in the reserves.

Spending for contracted services peaked in fiscal 2010 at about $195 billion, the GAO reported, more than double what was spent on contractors in fiscal 2001. In fiscal 2012, it dropped to about $174 billion.

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