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FCW Forum: Do agencies rely too much on contractors?

According to the Government Accountability Office, government contractors have too much of a foothold at the Homeland Security Department. GAO is especially concerned that contractors are carrying out work that is "inherently governmental:" preparing budgets, developing policies and regulations and coordinating intelligence. As reported on FCW.com last week, DHS program officials “did not assess the risk that government decisions may be influenced by, rather than independent from, contractor judgments -- as required by federal program guidance,” GAO said in the report. “In addition, none of the program officials and contractors we spoke with was aware of these requirements, and few believed that their professional and management support service contracts required enhanced oversight.” (read the complete story here.) Is DHS alone in its predicament or would GAO found a similar situation at other agencies? And given the current shortage of qualified program managers in government, to what extent is this problem unavoidable? Let us know what you think. Paste a comment in the box below (registration required) or send your comment to letters@fcw.com (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it.

Posted on Oct 22, 2007 at 12:12 PM


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