As the March 11th sequestration deadline approaches, government agencies are preparing for the possibility of massive spending cuts and furloughs. However, according to The Baltimore Sun a report published by the American Federation of Government Employees finds that government agencies could spare federal workers and save as much as 90% by shifting the focus of budget cuts to contractors. The author of the study, University of Baltimore Law Professor, Charles Teifer presents several pathways that agencies can follow to reduce service contracts and advocates that strong leadership is necessary in achieving that goal.
Some service contractors may be highly reluctant to reduce their costs, and they possess significant political influence. That is why it is so important that heads of agencies provide strong leadership to contracting officers and program officials — establishing thoughtful but ambitious goals for savings from reductions in service contract spending.
The study is being met with resistance from the contractor group, the Professional Services Council and its Executive Vice President Alan Chvotkin. Chvotkin believes that placing the burden on contractors would do more harm than good.
Far from being safe or appropriate, obtaining 70 to 90 percent of the sequestration cuts from the hundreds of thousands federal contractor employees would cripple the government and devastate the economy.
Due to Maryland’s high number of federal workers and government contractors, sequestration could have significant consequences for the state’s residents. John Fritze of the Sun notes,
Furloughs or contract reductions could have a big impact on Maryland, which is home to a higher per-capita share of federal workers and government contractors than most other states.