Pentagon aims to bring jobs back in house

Defense contractors enjoyed robust growth in business over the past decade as both the Clinton and Bush Pentagons converted tens of thousands of jobs from government employees to contractor personnel.

But as the Obama administration looks for ways to reduce growth in the defense budget, the Pentagon is eyeing those contractor jobs as targets. At a House Budget Committee hearing Wednesday morning, Chairman John Spratt, D-S.C., asked the Pentagon's top accountant why the defense budget has grown so much faster than inflation over the past decade.

Robert Hale, the Defense Department comptroller, told Spratt that those outsourced contractor jobs have ended up being more expensive than government workers. Now the Pentagon is looking at bringing some of those contractor jobs back in-house, Hale said. We "need to look carefully at how many contractors we're using," Hale said.

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama promised to cut all federal contractor spending by at least 10 percent and end the abuse of no-bid contracts.

Check out the blog Lost in Transition, a joint effort of Government Executive and National Journal.

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