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
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.