Regarding personnel, the panelists did not specify where civilian personnel cuts should occur, even when pressed by a finance member of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Nor did they address contractor services. But they advised against insourcing services so that uniformed personnel are mowing the grass on bases.
Separately on May 29, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said the department’s military and civilian workforces peaked in fiscal 2011 at 3.1 million personnel combined. For that year, the last allowing full data, the Pentagon said it also contracted for outsourced services performed by an estimated 710,000 full time equivalents (FTEs) — meaning a workforce equal to about 90% of the size of the department’s civilian workforce of 807,000 FTEs.
Using 2013 constant dollars, GAO’s analysis of defense spending on contracted services shows obligations peaked in fiscal 2010 at about $195 billion, more than twice the amount spent in 2001. This spending decreased to about $174 billion in 2012.