6:50 am, April 17, 2014

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  • "DoD says the entire non-uniformed workforce will share the pain."
    RickP
    Except, of course, the political appointees that are making these decisions to cut OUR pay, not THEIR pay. They SAY they feel our pain, but the only thing they feel is the pain of having to explain themselves to softball questions from the press and having to straighten their clothes so that they can look 'official' when preening and being stroked on camera.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Money is too good for Washington to think clearly
    Honest Broker
    It is hard to get much money out of Americans through taxing and Govt employees salaries have always lagged the private sector, so outsourcing became popular with Washington and Corp America to get the cash to the inside crowd and buy voters. The bump in the economy after 9-11(look at the stock market) and then occupation profit in Afghanistan fed the fire to go into Iraq. Washington and Corp America raking in the money, while contract jobs soared with the myth they were cheaper and people had employment. As the bills mounted, a long time Govt watchdog group POGO.ORG determined this sounded too good so they launched an investigation in 2010. After having to subponea the contract rates and Govt employee salaries and benefits, they published their findings in Sept 2011 called Bad Business. It found on average contractors cost 1.83 times more to use than Govt employees. Congress, Senate and President all saw the report and could not dispute it, but they did nothing to change things. Money is too good, so America better not expect Washington to do the most economical solution. Contract personnel probably can see the problem, but fear of losing your job can cloud your judgement. No one can see clearly when money is involved, so maybe it will take a tax hike before Americans will make their politicians do the most economical and right thing.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • So, he was only on $122,000 & the $200,000 must be "Overhead"
    chicagoman
    That's a mark-up of 64% for overhead (BAH profits) and benefits. Do we still believe that federal government workers are paid 20% more for doing the same job as their private sector counterparts?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Pay?
    Dallas01
    I agree that everyone should share the burden of these cuts, especially the fat-cats in DC. However, I am a contractor and have been for years. A college graduate and have pursued several IT certifications and I barely make a third of what this contractor made. Who gets paid more or less, who knows? Let's stop the finger pointing, Contractor vs. Government. People on both sides are grossly over and underpaid. While 'we the people' are fighting amongst ourselves, politicians are running the middle class into the ground. It's called 'smoke and mirrors'. This guy is obviously an exception. Come on, wake up.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • DoD Furlough Facade
    Greeneyeshadeguy
    Let's get one thing straight - there is no fiscal necessity to furlough one DoD civilian if there was the political will to make the hard choices. The Navy, Marine Corps, and Defense-wide Operations and Maintenance accounts are woefully under-spending. That was evident in the April certified accounting reports the DoD provided to the Congress (the one's SecDef would have had to base his furlough decision on), to the tune of $675 million Navy, $1 billion Marine Corps, and $3 billion Defense-wide. SecDef has said he has a $1.8 billion problem that can only be fixed by furloughing civilians. How about taking that from the amounts components are under-executing and fix the Army and Air Force O&M accounts so no one has to be furloughed? The Omnibus Reprogramming just submitted to the Congress was the vehicle to do that and they chose not to, no political will to do so.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • So much misinformation regarding costs of Contractors and Government personnel...
    Sobaki
    I can almost give Senator Durbin a pass, almost. I certainly CANNOT give the Undersecretary of Defense Robert Hale, who is the DoD's Comptroller a pass at all when I see statements like this; Hale said Durbin's assertion that a contract employee costs two to three times as much as a federal civilian "sounds about right." Durbin gets it wrong when he states that the NSA contractor was being paid $200,000 a year. His salary was identified as $120,000 by Booz Allen with the remaining $80,000 likely used for overhead, benefits and profit. With Hale making the ridiculous comment he did (asserting that Durbin's statement that contractors are 2 to 3 times the cost of a government employee), it's no wonder the Government has as many financial issues it has. A government employee's salary is just ONE part of the total cost associated with that employee. For all intents and purposes, the total cost of an employee to any organization is about 2 times their salary (this is clearly an over generalization, but it does make the point needed). A GS10's (step 1) salary within the greater Washington DC area is about $56K. When you add in the cost to operate the building they work in (heat/cooling, water, bathroom facilities, telephone, electric, office equipment, etc) along with their benefits (medical, dental, vacation, sick, matching contributions to TSP, etc), their total cost to tax payers is potentially closer to $113K. For a GS15 (step 10) whose salary is about $155K, their total cost approaches $311K. The long term costs associated with Government employees far out weights the costs associated with a contractor. To make matters worse, regardless of what most will say (this is based upon my personal experience), the vast majority of Government employees are no where near the same experience or capability of contractors (Comptroller Hale's comments is a clear indication of just how uninformed he is regarding actual costs). Truth of the matter is there are entirely too many Government workers who aren't worth keeping in the Government let alone letting them be contractors. One other item, for what it is worth. The idiocy associated with blaming all contractors for the actions of this NSA contractor is mind boggling. Over the years, there have been as many or more Government employees who have sold out this country for something much less noble than principle. Please do not misinterpret that as my condoning the NSA contractor's actions, I do not. But he at least didn't do it for money.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Contractors Do Get Paid More
    Stack Rat
    Actually, Durbin and Hale are correct; it does cost two to three times as much for a federal employee as it does for a contract employee working for one of the large companies like Booz Allen. As one of the larger contractors, Booz Allen would charge far more than $80,000 for an employee making $120,000; maybe, instead, on the order of $120,000-$240,000 more, in addition to the $120,000 for the employee. You make the statement that one should also factor in the costs of a telephone and building utility costs when factoring in the cost of a federal employee. There are many contractors who work in federal facilities. So, using your logic, you should likewise figure in those same costs when factoring in the cost of a contractor working at a federal facility. In effect, this means more money in the pocket of the contracting firm because they don't need to provide a desk at one of their facilities. You mention that contractors are more experienced and capable than feds. I can't agree with you on that, but then this is a subjective issue. I will say, however, that contractors could certainly offer very experienced and capable individuals better pay than what the federal government could offer. In my federal govt. office, last CY, we lost, on average, at least one individual a month; two of those individuals got a higher paying position within the agency; all the others jumped to contractor positions because the contractors were offering significantly higher pay than the government was offering to do the same job. (In fact, some of these same former co-workers are now working in the same federal building as I am.)
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Other costs of contractors
    marxwj
    You also didn't include the cost of managing the contract itself. Much of the current federal workforce is there to service contracts. They write scopes of work, compose cost estimates, negotiate the contracts, oversee the work done by contractors, signing invoices, and so on. For a single large contract to someone like BAH, the government would need several full time employees working on little more than that contract. And I know for a fact that BAH has more than one generous contract with the government. Oh, and 100% overhead rate is very low in the contracting world, especially since they generally get comparable benefits packages. On top of that, office supplies to computer leasing to liability insurance is often charged separately, so is a 6% to 10% profit on all work done. This is one of the costs Congress never considers when contracting out work. I agree the 2 to 3 times more is a bit over the top, but I have yet to find a contractor that costs the government less than a federal worker for the same job.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Liars!
    Stewart
    DOD hasn't done a thing to scaleback service contracts. And people forget, the NSA leaker, as a HS dropout, wouldn't have even qualified as a GS-7 making $40K. Booze had every incentive to overpay the dunce since the more he made the more they made (on a cost-plus basis). For almost all career fields, contractors cost a lot more than civilian workers. Its a fact. No matter how you slice it. And the previous poster cites the cost of heating and maintaining the buildings for govt workers? Is he trying to mislead people into thinking those costs do not apply to contractor workers? Many contractors work in govt. facilities yet the contractor charges the same outrageous o/h and G&A. Durbin is on the right track. Of course the contractor lobby will do everything to keep him from revealing what lie behind that curtain,
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
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