Infographic: How Outsourcing Government Work Fattens the Federal Budget
Yet that’s exactly what the federal government is doing: Outsourcing work to contractors that could be performed far more cheaply by public employees. A new study by the Project On Government Oversight revealed that contractors earn 1.83 times more than public employees, and more than twice the compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services.
While the federal workforce has remained steady at about 2 million people since 1999, the contractor workforce increased from 4.4 million to 7.6 million in 2005, costing approximately $320 billion a year. In 33 of 35 occupational classifications, paying government employees would be cheaper than hiring a contractor.
POGO points to two main reasons for the huge waste. One is the steady drumbeat of small- and anti-government rhetoric from the right, which has resulted in the creation of a “shadow government” in which contractors perform services once handled by public employees at far greater cost—which, ironically enough, increases the size of the federal budget.
The second reason is that the government is ill-prepared to negotiate market-rate fees because it does not manage data about payments and processing or maintain clear standards about occupational specialties and justifying outsourcing. There’s also the issue of no-bid contracts and other shady paths for companies to find lucrative arrangements working for the government.
As a solution, the watchdog group recommends a number of procedural enhancements to justify contracts and collect more data about them while limiting their compensation. More broadly, though, the U.S. government needs to realize that smaller government is a meaningless goal, but efficient, effective government—one that uses cost-effective methods to perform tasks appropriate to its mission—is something worth striving for.
Amy Winehouse’s Charity is Trying to Educate Kids About Addiction Former drug users volunteer to talk to kids about their experiences.
Architects Design Amazing Schools Made out of Sand for Syrian Refugees Close to a million Syrian refugee children don’t have access to education. Sustainable schools offer a solution.
Paramedic Shares Awesome Facebook Post About Minimum Wage Increase ‘we don't realize they made off with almost the whole damn cake.’
From Model T to Tesla: The Evolution of Driving Safety Buckle up for a trip through the history of automotive innovation. Find out if automotive innovations are really making us safer.
Eco-Minded Urban Planners Create a Bike Path Protected by Solar Panels in South Korea The same structure shielding bikers from bad weather also powers the street-lamps running alongside the road.
Comic’s Brilliant Response When Asked if Women Can Be Funny Check out his passionate answer.