Outsourcing Intelligence Jobs
National Public Radio’s Marketplace program ran an interesting story recently on how private industry is stepping up to the plate and taking over many intelligence jobs for the government. Overall, its a good read.
The most provocative line from “intelligence guru and former spy Robert Steele” is as follows:
“Contractors are being given contracts where they claim to have thousands of people with clearances and language skills that don’t actually work for them. And then they turn around and hire away government employees for their clearances, or they provide people who don’t speak the language properly, all in order to make a buck. That’s simply wrong.”
Mr. Steele’s first line is dead-on correct. Many contractors claim to have the cleared talent to fill a contract, when in reality they only have a resume – not an employee. Look at the number of job postings that say “contingent on contract award”. That is some fine print you really don’t want to gloss over.
With regards to providing people that “don’t speak the language properly,” on this point I’d disagree. Contractors that supply the wrong personnel or unqualified personnel are taking a huge risk with their government client. I’d wager that Steele’s line is a hypothesis and not based on a specific event.
Furthermore, he makes it sound like “making a buck” is a nasty thing. The defense industry is a business, plain and simple. Granted, these aren’t folks turning out coat hangers here – but capitalism is the American way.