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Project on Government Oversight

Pentagon Not Properly Overseeing Hundreds of Billions Spent on Service Contracts

The Department of Defense (DoD) is not properly overseeing the hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year to procure services, according to a letter the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) sent today to congressional and executive branch officials.

POGO’s review of the DoD service contracting budget and spending documents found that it expends between 2.35 and 3.53 times more of its funding on its service contract workforce than on its civilian workforce, and that the cost of an average contractor full-time equivalent is between 2.94 and 8.60 times more than an average DoD civilian full-time equivalent. In short, the numbers are grossly out of proportion, and there needs to be improvements in comparative cost modeling and service contracting data in order to control costs and protect taxpayers.

“DoD, as well as other agencies, fail to collect and analyze the kind of data that documents whether service contracts are saving or wasting taxpayer dollars,” POGO General Counsel Scott Amey said. “Agencies either have no reliable models to compare contractor and federal employee costs, or if such models exist, agencies fail to conduct cost comparisons to determine whether service contracts are cost-effective. If the government is serious about making ends meet, service contract spending should be in the crosshairs.”

POGO analyzed DoD’s responses to congressional inquiries, testimony given at Sen. Claire McCaskill’s March hearing, “Contractors: How Much Are They Costing the Government?” and DoD policy and budgetary records. POGO found inconsistencies in DoD’s claims about making cost-effective policy and human capital decisions.

Follow the link to read POGO’s letter.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (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.

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