The government could convert some 80,000 military support-type positions to civilian, CBO has said, repeating an idea it has raised in several past reports on potential cost savings. Converting the positions would “increase DoD’s focus on warfighting [and] would not lead DoD into uncharted waters because it has previous experience with such transfers,” it said in a presentation prepared for a conference. CBO said that although some military positions could be performed by civilians in theory—in a prior report, it had estimated 500,000–DoD uses military personnel in them for a variety of reasons including meeting readiness objectives, achieving workforce management goals and complying with various requirements. Looking at military units that would not deploy in war, CBO said that if each service used the same military-civilian mix as the branch with the smallest percentage of military personnel for positions such as contract administration and retail supply operations, 80,000 could be available for transfer. Although CBO did not suggest a mix of in-house versus contracted work if positions were converted, it noted that most of those are off-limits to contractors, suggesting that most new civilian positions created would be federal employee jobs.
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