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.