Skip to main content

View Diary: Private contractors cost more than federal workers in 33 of 35 cases, study finds (140 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  As a former government contractor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grabber by the Heel

    I can attest to that. It is worse even than you indicate. The whole system creates incredible inefficiencies primarily because of the large overhead that is involved in administering contracts and dealing with the disconnect, turnover and so on. Contractors take advantage (particularly in IT) of the credulity of older gov't workers who often have no idea what they are signing up for when they sign contracts. I've seen the contrast between private companies who have their own IT departments and government--the contractors create bottlenecks and make sure their systems don't interact with other systems and make sure that they exploit rivalries within and without offices and agencies for their benefit.

    I think contracting may well be the worst thing ever to have happened to government. Not to say there aren't excellent contractors around who really care about the mission of the agency they serve. At this time"security" has become the big deal in government IT and there is such stupendous and idiotic stupidity in the systems that I can't, with a straight face defend government any more. The waste and, I believe, fraud in the system makes things utterly hopeless and would require an entirely new Civil Service System to be devised that kept private industry out of it almost entirely except for very specific projects. Even then it would be important to have experts in government that are on par with the experts of the contractors and that something more be done about the revolving door which causes a host of problems.

    •  Former and Current (0+ / 0-)

      And I concur around IT and Telecom.  I was brought in as the technical lead to design a system for a particular agency about 7 years ago which wound up replacing 3 RACKS of telecom gear (all mission critical w/ 24x7 backups, generators, hardened systems, etc.) w/ 4U of gear.  None of the savings wound up exposed to the customer.

      In fact, they raised rates as a part of the project due to increased services (which was agreed upon before hand) and then leveraged their new solution to sell the same services to an array of agencies to broaden margins and increase costs to the agencies.

      It is the unfortunate that while many agencies know their jobs, they just don't know the technology or what is possible to a rudimentary level.  There is no staff member who is their advocate to truly represent their interests and also understands the technology.  They rely solely upon the contractor to be the expert and therefore don't understand when things aren't a big deal.

      I recall a discussion on not being able to do something I'd proposed because the agency's group was piggy backing on another agency's network and therefore was "unsecure" by gov't standards.  When I asked a few followup questions outside of scope of the current project relating to this, the primary contractor I was subbing under started trying to out-tech me to shut me up.  

      My response (in front of the agency people) of just dropping two secured routers between locations (which exceeded their required security spec) at a cost of <$1000 TOTAL the primary nearly had a seizure. They'd been planning to milk the agency for another project just to secure the network merely from other federal agencies or even better to sell them their own network and drop fiber between buildings so they could feel all fuzzy that another agency wouldn't see their call center stats.  Yeeeesh.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site