CIA to improve management of contractor workforce

The agency will reduce its contractor workforce by 10 percent by the end of fiscal 2008.

“I will keep you updated as we implement these important initiatives,” Hayden told employees.

The CIA is not managing its contractor workforce efficiently, so it is moving forward with reforms that may reduce the number of contractors by 10 percent within a little more than a year, said Director Gen. Michael Hayden.

“Our contractor workforce…grew out of staff hiring freezes in the 1990s" and accelerated tempo of operations following the 2001 terrorist attacks, Hayden said in a message to employees that was released this week. “We must now begin to address these inefficiencies.”

The reforms also will include steps to discourage contractors from hiring away CIA employees before they retire. Effective this month, all agency requests for proposals and contracts will bar contracting firms from hiring former CIA employees who resigned before retirement eligibility and including their services under the contract.

These “measures seek to prevent the CIA from becoming what I call a farm team for contractors,” Hayden said.

In November 2006, the CIA announced the creation of a study group to review contractor use and develop a management strategy. The study found that the CIA could not carry out its mission without contractor expertise, Hayden said. But it also found that the agency needed to achieve a better balance between staff and contractors.

Within the next 30 days, the CIA’s Office of Human Resources will present a report to agency leaders breaking down which jobs should be filled by staff and which could be done by contractors.

“The recommendations will create a more efficient balance of staff and contractors and put the hard work and know-how of both groups to better use,” Hayden said.

Based on current data, the agency estimates it will reduce the number of contractors it hires by 10 percent by the end of fiscal 2008.

Other initiatives are aimed at:

  • Combining support and infrastructure requirements to make contracting more efficient.
  • Making contracting more rigorous by using in-depth reviews and, in some cases, performance-based practices.
  • Encouraging contractors to become staff employees in some areas.

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