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Dec 10, 2010

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Stilton III

Just love it when a new person is recruited into battles fought over for, in this case, a couple of decades by the many stakeholders involved.

The author common sensically concludes: "Until the federal government addresses head-on the perplexing problem of how to compare the cost of having a federal service function performed by federal employees with the cost of privatizing the performance of that function, the government will never know which service contracts save the government money and which ones impose excessive costs upon the taxpayer." Then, the author casts his aspersions anyway.

But he makes the sound of one hand clapping for attention, with an obvious glare in contractors' direction. To be fair and balanced, the author might pair his observations (made by hundreds of experts before him) with 1) an admission that government cost accounting roll-up do not begin to capture the actual total cost of federal employees; 2) appropriate befuddlement at the mysteries of government job categories, such as social science research analyst, supervisory engineer, and the vast wasteland of admin positions, just for starters; 3)prove his assertions regarding "competence" of federal employees. Many surmise that with cross-breeding and drawing from largely the same labor markets now, contractors and civil servants might be similarly competent. Why does the country seem to question or doubt federal agency and employee competence in so many program areas and cases? The author's investigation might start with the quality of plans and product in the very inventory he cites. Am not sure the author would want to get into productivity issues, or, for that matter, ethics and conflict-of-interest matters either.

In any case, federal contracting experts, not to mention the WH, the Congress, and alert taxpayers by the millions will welcome the author's future value-added contributions to comparisons that are valid and add insight, rather than the same ole gruel that has fed generations of combatants.

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