The overall dollars spent on federal service contracts, when adjusted for inflation, have been basically flat for the past three years. In FY 1993, the federal government spent $106.1 billion on service contracts; in FY 1995, it spent $106.5 billion a change of less than one-tenth of a percent. However, not all service contracts are for services that federal employees might perform. For example, the federal government rarely performs its own architectural or engineering services. Therefore, we identified those functions that might be performed by either a federal employee or a contractor. These commercial-type services we refer to as "A-76-type" services (see the technical note for details). The federal government's spending for A-76-type services through service contracts totaled $29.4 billion in FY 1993 and decreased to $28.9 billion in FY 1995 a drop of 1.6 percent in inflation-adjusted terms.
We then broke down the overall trends by agency to see the agency-by-agency patterns. We found that 13 of the 21 largest agencies with significant service contract spending decreased both the number of employees and the dollars spent on A-76-type service contracts between FYs 1993 and 1995 (see Table G-1). At the remaining eight agencies, service contracting increased, but the number of employees was decreased. The service contracting increases at seven of the eight agencies were unrelated to agency personnel cuts; the eighth agency's increase reflected a decision to contract out certain service functions.
| Jan. 1993 - Sept. 1995 |
|FYs 1993-95 |
A-76-Type Services Contract Levels
|Numeric Change||Percentage Change||Dollar Change |
|Reductions in FTEs and Contract Dollars|
|Environmental Protection Agency||-100||-5.9||-34,951||-5.3|
|General Services Administration||-3,600||-17.5||-39,515||-9.0|
|Health & Human Services/Social Security Administration||-6,500||-5.0||-856||-0.1|
|Housing & Urban Development||-1,500||-11.0||-20,011||-24.1|
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration||-3,300||-12.8||-55,066||-2.0|
|Reductions in FTEs and Increases in Contract Dollars|
|Agency for International Development||-800||-18.2||164,616||17.5|
|Army Corps of Engineers||-1,500||-5.1||216,514||36.0|
|Office Of Personnel Management||-2,000||-32.3||3,841||8.7|
|Tennessee Valley Authority||-2,400||-12.6||55,337||19.7|
|All Other Agencies||-6,400||-7.4||74,948||33.1|
In calculating its figures, the National Performance Review identified certain categories of service contracts as including commercial or industrial functions that might be performed by either federal employees or contractor employees. We refer to these as commercial-type or "A-76-type" services; these include such activities as maintenance; repair and rebuilding of equipment; technical representation services; medical services; professional, administrative, and management support services; training services; and housekeeping services. They do not include such activities as construction or architect and engineering services, which the government almost always contracts out.
The personnel data in Table G-1 are from Executive Office of the President, "Analytical Perspectives,"Budget of the United States, Fiscal Year 1997 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office), p. 180. The procurement data are from the General Services Administration's Federal Procurement Data System, Form SF-279, for FYs 1993 and 1995.