The Department of Homeland Security's ratio of contractors to government employees was questioned on Wednesday, February 24, by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
The department estimates it has 200,000 contractors working for it and 188,000 civilian employees—not including uniformed members of the Coast Guard—for a total workforce of almost 400,000, according to information provided by the committee.
"To me, this is just a shocking and unacceptable number," Lieberman said. "Our committee has long been concerned about DHS' heavy reliance on contractors because it raises the question of efficient use of taxpayer money but also the question of who is in control of the department's mission: Is it federal contractors or full-time employees?"
In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the department is seeking to reduce its use of contractors in the next fiscal year and plans to convert some contractor positions to federal jobs.
Filed by Staffing Industry Analysts, a sister company of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.