Defense Acquisition Organizations:

Reductions in Civilian and Military Workforce

NSIAD-98-36R: Published: Oct 23, 1997. Publicly Released: Oct 23, 1997.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed personnel reductions in 20 Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition organizations from the end of fiscal year (FY) 1995 through the end of second quarter FY 1997, focusing on the: (1) extent reductions in the organizations met legislative requirements; (2) number of civilians leaving the acquisition organizations but currently employed in other DOD organizations; (3) occupational fields with the largest concentration of reductions; (4) trends in DOD contracting activity from FY 1994 to 1996 with the occupational fields most affected by the reductions; and (5) DOD's efforts to redefine its acquisition workforce.

GAO noted that: (1) the legislative mandates of FY 1996 and 1997 to reduce the acquisition workforce allow the Secretary of Defense wide latitude in implementing those cuts: (2) according to Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) data, DOD has exceeded the requirements to reduce its acquisition workforce by 30,000; (3) if current trends in workforce reductions continue, it appears that DOD will also achieve an overall acquisition workforce personnel reduction of 25 percent (94,4000 of 377,600) by the end of FY 2000, consistent with its congressionally required plan; (4) most of the downsizing was achieved through reductions in personnel, but a significant portion was also attained through DOD's streamlining efforts that resulted in disestablishing the Army Information Systems Command (AISC) and distributing the majority of its personnel into a nonacquisition organization (i.e., outside of the purview of DOD Instruction 5000.58); (5) these efforts also redirected some personnel to other DOD organizations; (6) of approximately 40,000 civilian personnel reductions, about 9,000 (roughly 22 percent) persons remain employed in other DOD organizations; (7) a review of reductions by occupational series shows that the largest concentrations were in the following occupational fields: electronics engineering, secretary, computer specialist, contracting, management analyst, and administrative; (8) by contrast, DOD's contract awards for services rose steadily for FY 1994 to 1996 for most of the functions normally done by personnel in these occupational fields; and (9) DOD is developing a methodology for redefining its acquisition workforce.

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