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Fri, May 08, 2009

Pentagon To Get Help, Despite Budget Cuts...

20,000 Staffers To Be Added

In a move that seems at odds with current US federal budget priorities, the Pentagon has announced it will add 20-thousand employees over the next five years. Of that total, 11-thousand will be conversions of outside contractors to federal civilian employees.
Reuters reports US Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn explained it this way. Quote - "This unprecedented, five-year planned workforce initiative will result in a properly sized, well-trained, capable and ethical workforce."
A showdown also appears to be coming over cost overruns. The Pentagon says it will issue more fixed-price contracts in an attempt to reign in bloat in its 100-billion-dollar annual procurement process.
In response, Cord Sterling, a VP for the Aerospace Industries Association, told Reuters the fixed-price contract idea will not work, quote - "...unless we have a program with fixed technologies, fixed requirements, and fixed budgets."
The VH-71 Presidential Helicopter program has become the poster child for cost overruns, but little has been said about the role of constantly changing requirements from the Pentagon after the contract was signed.
As ANN has reported, developer AgustaWestland recently pointed out the project had to accommodate over 800 customer changes, including 50 major design changes.



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