Federal Eye: Homeland Security has more contractors than feds

Happy Wednesday! Officials at the Department of Homeland Security have told lawmakers in recent weeks that it employs more private
contractors than government employees, a revelation that shouldn't
surprise close observers of the department's seven-year history.

The department employs 200,000 contractors, and roughly 188,000 federal employees, a total that does not include uniformed members of
the Coast Guard.

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Tuesday they want detailed workplace information from each of the department's more than 20 agencies.

"The sheer number of DHS contractors currently on board again raises the question of whether DHS itself is in charge of its programs and
policies, or whether it inappropriately has ceded core decisions to
contractors,” Lieberman and Collins wrote to Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano.

“We believe that the current balance between federal employees and contractors at DHS is unacceptable, untenable and unsustainable," the
senators said.

Staffers on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said they learned of the government worker-contract ratio during budget
briefings earlier this month. Napolitano does not plan to address the
balance during a budget hearing with the committee today unless she's
asked, her aides said.

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