Hillary Clinton Says She Would Cut 500,000 Federal Contractors - InformationWeek

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Hillary Clinton Says She Would Cut 500,000 Federal Contractors

Sen. Clinton says such a move would save the federal government between $10 billion and $18 billion per year.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that if elected she would put an end to the outsourcing of critical government functions to the private sector and ax up to half a million federal contracting jobs.

In a speech last week at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Clinton -- considered a front-runner for the Democratic nomination along with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama -- claimed such a move would save the federal government between $10 billion and $18 billion per year.

"I propose we eliminate 500,000 government contracting positions," said Clinton, according to a transcript of the speech posted last week on her Web site.

Criticizing the Bush administration's heavy reliance on the private sector for everything from IT work to security in Baghdad and Iraq, Clinton said federal outsourcing programs are plagued with waste and lack oversight.

"All too often, this administration has handed out government contracts without even shopping around for the best price ... there has been an explosion in no-bid contracting," said the New York senator.

Bush administration officials argue that the outsourcing of jobs, particularly tech positions, is essential to offset a looming worker shortage created in part by retiring government employees. Thousands of federal IT workers are expected to reach retirement age over the next couple of years, according to the government.

Clinton's comments come as the Department of Justice last week said it would investigate several major tech vendors for allegedly offering kickbacks in exchange for a share of work on lucrative government contracts.

The Department of Justice on Thursday said it had joined three whistle-blower lawsuits that claim Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems made kickbacks to or received kickbacks from third parties involved in technology contracts with government agencies.

The Justice Department said the companies solicited or made payments of money and other enticements to a number of partners with whom they had global "alliance relationships" or an agreement to work together on government contracts.

Accenture and HP have denied any wrongdoing. Sun said it is waiting to see the results of a government audit before taking further action.

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