DOD still lacks proper workforce plan

diagram of work team

The Defense Department has come up short in adequately devising a legally mandated workforce plan, according to a Government Accountability Office study released May 29.

The report states that DOD has not heeded legislative requirements for workforce planning and federal requirements for the identification of critical functions, possibly causing the mishandling of contracted services.

In fiscal year 2011, there were almost nine contractor full-time equivalents to every 10 civilian DOD employees. DOD spent more than twice as much on contracted services in fiscal 2010 as it did in fiscal 2001, according to GAO analysis using fiscal year 2013 constant dollars.

"DOD has yet to assess the appropriate mix of its military, civilian, and contractor personnel capabilities in its strategic workforce plan as required by law," the report states.

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Get more information and download the GAO report here.

The report states that DOD policies neglect current statutory requirements for its workforce plan and inventory of contracted services, which were outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013. A committee report that accompanied the act called for GAO to investigate the Pentagon's workforce planning.

Additionally, the GAO report found that DOD contractor estimates have "significant limitations and do not accurately reflect the number of contractors providing services to the DOD."

Deficiencies included “the use of estimating techniques based on inventory data that may not be accurate and the lack of a crosswalk between the inventory and specific budget codes.”

During fiscal year 2011, the combined DOD military/civilian workforce was the largest it had been in a decade, with 3.1 million personnel. The number of combined personnel is expected to decrease over the next five years to below 2.9 million.

DOD officials said the department has already proposed a directive concerning personnel numbers and workforce mix. They also noted that DOD's methodology for keeping track of contracted services can be found in its budget submission guidance memorandums and through either the Office of the Undersecretary or the Comptroller Financial Management Regulation.

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

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Reader comments

Fri, May 31, 2013 Paul

I won't dispute the gross inefficiencies of the Federal government, and DoD in particular, but having worked in the private sector before crossing lanes I can say that most companies are just as bad. There are a number of management and infrastructure issues and the senior leaders on both sides are simply spending other people’s money with no regard. People need to remember that to varying degrees the people managing operations in the private sector are not spending their own money either. It all belongs to the bond and shareholders that invest in the company. When we pay taxes, we are investing in the government (albeit without a choice). In return, ideally, we should see services rendered and I have to say I’m happy with the overall quality of services compared to other countries where I've lived but I will agree some of it could be done cheaper.

Fri, May 31, 2013

How many DOD contractors have lobbyist and contribute significantly to congressional relection campaigns?

Fri, May 31, 2013

The DOD, like nearly all (if not all) Federal agencies, has never had to learn to run an efficient organization like those in the private sector. As such, they never had the need, let alone the desire, to come up with something that will make their organization run efficiently. That is the norm for any person or organization that operates on Other People's Money (OPM).

Fri, May 31, 2013

This has been true about DoD for the +30 years I've been associated with it!

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