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Lawmaker Calls for Contract Spending Review

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Sen. Claire McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) called for a review of contractor expenses within the government workplace at a subcommittee hearing Wednesday.

She said service contract spending has increased 44 percent from $181 billion into $324 billion throughout the last 10 years.

Spending for federal employees has also increased 34 percent from $170 billion to $229 billion throughout the same time period, according to the hearing’s transcript.

McCaskill argued that government offices have been increasingly relying on contracted work.

Many contractors now handle wide variety of responsibilities including managing and supervising contracts, developing policies and drafting regulations, she said.

McCaskill identified the Department of Homeland Security’s balanced workforce strategy tool as a good reference when making contracting decisions.

The system uses a three-step process that identifies, analyzes and decides who will handle the work responsibilities.

Under the strategy, officials must prioritize cost-effectiveness when deliberating whether federal personnel or contracted personnel is chosen for responsibility.

McCaskill said that agencies should not base decisions on unfounded assumptions during fiscal shortages.

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