Contractors Targeted in Pentagon Cuts

Gates aims to have procurement staff employed directly by Pentagon
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2009 4:53 AM CDT
US soldiers stand near an armored Humvee in Afghanistan. The Pentagon plans a major overhaul of its procurement system.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, file)
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(Newser) – The Pentagon's new budget proposal cuts the role of private contractors by a third—back to pre-9/11 levels—the Washington Post reports. Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to replace tens of thousands of contracted workers with people employed directly by the Pentagon, especially among the vast workforce tasked with buying weapons for the military.

The Obama administration wants "more of the skill in the government rather than contracting out," said one defense analyst, who predicted many businesses built around outsourcing would be ruined by the move. Experts said Gates' plan would likely help the Pentagon reduce its infamous cost overruns, although some cautioned that qualified staff may be hard to lure away from the private sector.