House lawmakers object to defense civilian workforce cap

Wednesday - 3/28/2012, 8:16am EDT

Lawmakers say the Defense Department should either lift its cap on civilian workers or cut down on contractors.

The department's "efficiency initiative" holds the number of civilian employees at 2010 levels. But it doesn't limit contractors.

That's wrongheaded, 131 House members say in a letter to Secretary Leon Panetta.

The lawmakers said they are concerned that managers may choose to use contractors.

"The unique constraints that DoD has placed on the civilian workforce have raised concerns that managers could be prevented from using civilian employees even when they cost less or the work is sufficiently sensitive or important that it should be performed by civilian employees," according to the letter.

The letter said DoD should cap spending on service contracts at 2010 levels unless it loosens up on civilian employees.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.