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Sun Feb 23, 2014, 12:30 PM

WashPo: U.S. intelligence agencies canít justify why they use so many contractors

You can believe the private sector does some things better than government, but the worst of all possible worlds is when the government delegates some of their functions (and our tax dollars) to for-profit contractors.

Most disturbing in this article is most agencies couldn't justify why they turned these functions over to contractors in the first place or prove that government employees couldn't do them.

Also, if you have a private contractor listening to everyone's phone calls and reading their emails, is there any chance they'd use that information to blackmail politicians who tried to take away those lucrative contracts?

But the GAO reserves its harshest judgment for the agencies that couldn't fully explain why they resorted to contractors in the first place.

"In preparing their inventory submissions, IC elements can select one of eight options for why they needed to use contract personnel, including the need to provide surge support for a particular IC mission area, insufficient staffing resources, or to provide unique technical, professional, managerial, or intellectual expertise to the IC element that is not otherwise available," the report says.

Out of 102 records that were filed under "unique expertise," 81 failed to convince investigators that an ordinary civil servant couldn't have handled the job.

"Overall," the report went on, "the civilian IC elements could not provide documentation for 40 percent of the 287 records we reviewed."
Federal contracting is notoriously opaque, in part because of its complexity. That can be especially so in the intelligence world, where even the people inside it have no clue how large it really is. If the GAO's findings are to be believed, many agencies exhibit almost a reflexive tendency to turn to contractors when a government employee will do. But their inability to say no contributes to what is now a half-trillion dollar industry every year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/02/14/u-s-intelligence-agencies-cant-justify-why-they-use-so-many-contractors/

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Reply WashPo: U.S. intelligence agencies canít justify why they use so many contractors (Original post)
yurbud Feb 2014 OP
bemildred Feb 2014 #1
grasswire Feb 2014 #3
yurbud Feb 2014 #4
Solly Mack Feb 2014 #2
raven mad Feb 2014 #5
MrScorpio Feb 2014 #6
yurbud Feb 2014 #7
jmowreader Feb 2014 #8
pscot Feb 2014 #9
yurbud Feb 2014 #10

Response to yurbud (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 12:33 PM

1. There are no kickbacks without private contactors in the loop.

And that is why they become so popular when the government is in one of it's corruption cycles.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 12:54 PM

3. sure

pay the contractors, who then donate $$ to politicians. It's just a quick looting of the people's money.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 02:02 PM

4. I'm working on a flowchart like that.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 12:34 PM

2. K&R

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 06:58 AM

5. "Plausible deniability".

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 07:59 AM

6. This is a good story that speaks to why we have this Intel State

I've been trying to get the word out too here to follow the damn money.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 10:50 AM

7. yep. It's less ideology and big brother and more just plain greed...

however, the big brother stuff is handy to see if anyone is going to interfere with acting on their greed.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 04:44 PM

8. Weird hiring requirements

I have a friend named Ron. Ron was an Army intelligence analyst, and after they closed Berlin he went to Fort Meade - the mother ship of the NSA. There he was put on a desk and started cranking out top-notch intelligence.

Then came time for Ron to retire from the Army. He knew his seat needed to be filled, so he went to Personnel and applied to work the same seat for the same pay but as a civilian instead of a soldier. "No, Ron, you need a Master's Degree in Intelligence Analysis (there is such a thing) to work your job as an NSA Civilian." (Ron has a Bachelor's in History.)

"Then how will you fill my billet?"

'I guess we'll have to hire a contractor.'

He got the name of the contractor they'd hire and the acquisition number for his job, and went to see them. Long story shortened dramatically, he left work on Friday wearing his Class B uniform and came in on Monday wearing a suit.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 10:45 PM

9. Hillary will clean it up

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Response to pscot (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 25, 2014, 11:40 AM

10. you forgot to add the sarcasm smiley

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