Letter: Contractors can't solve management problems
In reference to "Kelman: Too many contractors?," two supplemental points should be made regarding government and management. There is nothing wrong with the federal system of employment -- 90 percent of the problems are caused by inexperienced, untrained and/or incompetent managers and human resources staff who are unwilling to trouble themselves with the process of removing underperforming employees.
To say that the federal government contracts out to avoid its internal weaknesses is correct. However, the federal staffers charged with overseeing those contracts are just like the supervisors -- inexperienced, untrained, incompetent and poorly supported, which means we just pay more money to push the problems further away because those staff can't properly manage a contract and achieve the intended goals.
In 15 years in one office, I've seen good managers and bad take the office to the heights and the depths in terms of accomplishing the mission, but most of the managers were bad and most of the time the real work did not get done. A favorite technique when things got really bad was to hire consultants or let contractors to "turn things around" when the real problem was that the managers had no ability and no commitment to the mission.
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