FCW Insider

Blog archive

Soundoff: Feds air complaints about contractors

A number of federal employees have written recently to complain about supervisors who give preference, without warrant, to contractor employees.

The readers were responding to a report about the prospect of "in-sourcing" -- that is, of federal agencies converting contractor jobs to staff positions.

The report, from the Federal Acquisition Innovation and Reform Institute,  advises agencies to plan carefully before proceeding. In-sourcing everything at once and doing it very quickly invites disaster, according to the report, because the government isn’t currently prepared to handle the influx of work (read the article here).

Readers however said "Pfui" to the notion that they can't handle the work. Senior managers want a contractor’s input on a situation, even after the federal employee has given them the answer.

KiloWhiskey from Denver described like this: “Senior management asks the contractor, who then comes and asks us. We tell him the answer, which he parrots back to management, whereupon it’s accepted as gospel.”

Another reader suggested a way to take work away from contractors: cut out the unnecessary contractors.

“Seen ‘Office Space’? One engineer reporting to eight people is not just in a movie,” the reader comments. And then adds, “Many projects are cheaper to mess up and restart three times over than to hire all of these process people, who push board approvals and tons of paperwork for every little request/task just to get it ‘right’ the first time.”

Disgusted Fed in New Orleans wrote that federal workers find themselves having to go back and redo many of these contractors’ work, thereby doubling their own work. “Feds work for less than contractors, and we seem to care much more about how the job is done than contractors.”

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jun 11, 2009 at 12:14 PM


Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.