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Does insourcing lead to 'theft' of contractor employees?

All the talk about government insourcing—that is, redirecting contractor work to federal employees—is missing a key issue, according to one reader: Where, exactly, are agencies finding staff to handle all that work?

The anonymous reader, responding to an FCW article about the Army’s plans to insource core functions now being handled by contractors, points out agencies are likely to expand their staffs at the expense of the contractors.

“Whether inherently a governmental-only function or not, what does that say for the contractor that invested time [and] money on that individual, sourced him to fulfill the customers mission, and the customer is now hiring that individual off from the contractor?” the reader commented “And, of course, no finder’s fee [will be paid].”

The theft of talent weakens companies that are already struggling to deal with financial instability, the reader believes, putting the administration’s insourcing policy at odds with its economic policies.

(As an aside: The question of finder’s fees was raised last summer when the administration officials first began talking up insourcing. But numerous government readers noted that agencies never see a dime when contractors hire away government employees.)

What do you say?

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Mar 24, 2010 at 12:18 PM


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