Support: December 5, 2002


In a sign of things to come, the U.S. Coast Guard has outsourced it's personnel system, or at least the computer part of it. Bidders had to meet security, as well as price and reliability criteria. The initial six million dollar contract is only for seven months, and is something of a test. If the test succeeds, the supplier will get another four year contract. The Coast Guard system handles 45,000 uniformed and civilian employees. This kind of outsourcing is common for commercial firms. Other types of outsourcing the military is looking into is for the maintenance of non-combat vehicle fleets and U.S. based logistical operations. Such outsourcing makes recruiting easier, since you no longer have to get uniformed people for what are, essentially, civilian jobs. A century ago, a lot of these support jobs were done by civilians. But over the last century, a lot more of this work was done by military people because the draft provided cheaper, high quality, labor. With the all volunteer armed forces, this is no longer the case.


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