When Democrats took control of the White House in early 2009, they immediately set about reversing the Bush Administration’s efforts to outsource federal work. The Democrats believed that Bush had been too willing to contract out functions that were “inherently governmental” in nature, regardless of the cost or competency of the contractors hired. Much of the new administration’s “insourcing” campaign unfolded at the Pentagon, which had seen the biggest increase in contracting during the Bush years and had conducted more public-private competitions to select sources of commercial services than any civil agency. But two years after the defense department’s insourcing binge began, policymakers are beginning to have second thoughts because they aren’t saving any money and qualified workers are hard to find in many specialties. I have written an essay on the subject at www.forbes.com that can be found here.
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