Defense officials plan to increase civilian hiring as part of a new plan calling for reducing the department’s reliance on contractors and military personnel, and moving away from the use of caps on staffing levels. “While it may be appropriate for other federal agencies to reduce their civilian workforce, for the DOD, right-sizing will necessitate targeted growth to both restore readiness and increase the lethality, capability and capacity of our military force,” the business plan states. DOD sent the Office of Management and Budget a “workforce rationalization plan” which it said marks a “significant shift” in its approach to “workforce sizing, shaping and structuring,” reports Government Executive.
The department’s plan could conflict with congressional policy. The House version of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill calls for spending by defense agencies and field activities on civilian resources management, logistics management, services contracting and real estate management to drop by 25 percent by Jan. 1, 2021.