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Feds Have NO IDEA How Much Is Spent On Contract Workers

The Congressional Budget Office has determined that the government has no idea what the size or cost of the federal government’s contracted workforce is.

The analysis also determined that the government has no reliable way of knowing the information. The only system the government has to track federal contract data is, by its own admission, incomplete and its accuracy questionable.

The Federal Procurement Data System, which the analysis calls a “comprehensive source of information about federal spending on contracts,” does not report the size of the labor force funded by federal contracts, and makes it nearly impossible to summarize federal spending on contracts.

“Each purchase is assigned a single ‘product or service code’ —- but there are roughly 3,000 of those codes, and FPDS offers no useful way to group them,” the analysis said.

The Department of Defense recently started collecting and reporting the number of full-time positions funded by some of its service contracts, but its reporting excludes contracts for product purchases and service contracts for facilities. In addition, much of that data is reported by the contractors themselves or estimated by DoD officials.

This system is “relatively new,” and limited solely to the DoD, therefore it “does not provide enough information to allow CBO to estimate the overall size of the
government’s contracted workforce,” according to the analysis.

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