Letter to the Editor
I enjoyed Milt Zall's April 23 column in Federal Computer Week, "Keeping TRAC of jobs."
Here are several additional points, however, which I am not sure anyone
really has thought through or put into the equation.
First, there is the cost to the government to monitor the contractor.
In my observation, with much contracting out of work, the cost to monitor
the contractor including the cost to teach him how to do what you want frequently equals the cost of doing it in-house. However, these costs
never are part of the contractor costs, so they get ignored!
Second, there is the whole business of ownership. When the government
designed a building and took responsibility for it, there was someone in
the government who had his name on the project and who took personal responsibility
for the end result. With the advent of contracting out, that ceases to be,
and there is no one who is responsible or who gives a damn! There is a major
cost associated with this in the long-term ownership!
The same principle applies to ships, and a host of other things. While
there are probably some things where these factors don't apply, there are
a lot more where they do.
I am not a federal civil servant, but it is my observation that after
working with many, they are underrated and badly abused by the press and
much of our society. This is hurting our country.
Retired Navy captain