The Role of Contractors in Government: Have We Gone Too Far?
There has been a longstanding recognition that the federal government does not have enough employees with the requisite skills to meet every agency need. Agencies obtain real advantages in employing contractors that can offer specialized skills to handle short-term requirements. Moreover, using a competitive selection process helps to bring both efficiency and innovation to address government needs. However, there has been a growing disparity between the very low rate of growth in the number of civil servants over the last fifteen years and the enormous growth in funding for all types of contracted support. Contractors today are engaged in virtually all aspects of Federal agency operations. This brief touches on the government's reliance on contractors, the multisector agency workforce, Congress' view of contractors in government, and ends with a list of recommendations for the reader. Contracting