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Don’t Call it In-sourcing — DHS Talks Balancing the Workforce

Image: Pavel Losevsky

Don’t call the Department of Homeland Security’s workforce initiatives in-sourcing. While Nextgov reports the agency has been chipping away at its contractor workforce over the past couple of years, DHS prefers to think of its efforts as creating the perfect mix of government employees and contractors.

“The goal is to make sure that we have a balanced workforce – that we have a federal employee doing a federal employee job and the right level of contract support when we need it,” said DHS spokesman Larry Orluskie.

The agency is shying away from the dreaded I-word.

“Insourcing always rubs people the wrong way,” he said. And, in reality, the term is not always accurate because contractor positions that are phased out are not always brought under the government’s purview. In some cases, they are simply eliminated.

DHS began its evaluation of its workforce, both outsourced and in-house, in 2009 with a review of contractor positions. That review identified about 3,500 jobs that could be either phased out or in-sourced.

By January of this year, about 77 percent of those positions had been eliminated and about 1,800 federal employees had been hired in their place, Nextgov reported.

DHS has a name for its program — the Balanced Workforce Initiative, the brainchild of DHS Chief Human Capital Officer Jeffrey Neal who set up a program office bearing the initiative’s name last year, Nextgov reports.

The next step is continuing to use the initiative to evaluate contracts, which it will do for nearly 70 contracts by the fall of 2011, Orluskie told Nextgov.

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2 comments

  1. ” DHS prefers to think of its efforts as creating the perfect mix of government employees and contractors. .” Sounds like a Smoke Screen ….If you want to “hide” a Gov program , rename it ! No matter what the Federal Gov decides or “prefers” to call it –this IS Insourcing. They are not “balancing” their workforce ..they are hiring more Federal employees and have even poached new employees from Contractors to meet their Quotas. And they claim Federal Insourcing is saving the taxpayer money because the Federal Employees are cheaper ? Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of the Army John McHugh have stopped Insourcing because it actually costs more.
    http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0211/020311rb2.htm?oref=most_popular
    The only groups defending it are the Unions but , we all know why —Union workers are cheaper than non Union right ? Unions are not Political groups and never get involved in Campaigns ..Money is not the issue with them, only workers rights.
    Wake up America

  2. They can call it what they like –but this Federal Insourcing is finally being seen for what it is , a failure and waste of Taxpayer Money.
    http://blogs.forbes.com/beltway/2011/03/07/pentagon-insourcing-binge-begins-to-unravel/
    Use the right Contractors and oversight – consider “Past Performance” and “Best Value” –lowest bid always ends with with lowest quality on service contracts.
    It’s not hard to use Common sense in Contracting – buy it as if you’re paying for it out of your pocket.

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