DOD trimming costs with outsourcing, work force cuts

Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2001

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The Defense Department plans an "aggressive" competitive outsourcing program for management and operation of noncore missions, according to the president's fiscal 2001 budget released today. The agency projects the move would save $11.6 billion from now to 2005, and another $3.4 billion a year thereafter.

In a competitive outsourcing program, DOD activities and employees bid against the private sector to continue operation of facilities such as maintenance depots or mainframe computer or software design activities. The Pentagon believes the competition will drive costs down even if a government entity wins the competition with a bid that beats a commercial entity.

DOD also plans to continue to slice its civilian work force by another 35,000 employees. Since 1993 and the end of the Cold War, the Pentagon has slashed its civilian work force by more than 27 percent, or more than 250,000 full-time positions.

And Pentagon management continues to press for another round of politically unpopular base closings to cut its infrastructure costs even further but, as the budget documents dryly note, "Congress [which wants to protect the civilian jobs at military bases] has failed to approve [base closure] legislation, despite data that additional base closures will generate savings that can be applied to high-priority defense programs."

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