President Trump wasted no time implementing a campaign promise when he imposed a federal hiring freeze on his first Monday in office. His Jan. 23, 2017, presidential memorandum doing that included this caution: “Contracting outside the Government to circumvent the intent of this memorandum shall not be permitted.”
Yet the Trump administration has more than doubled the value of federal government contracts with temporary help service agencies, according to a new report.
These agencies provide workers on a temporary basis, but the contracts can be renewed, meaning “the term ‘temporary’ is often a misnomer,” according to the study by the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit that advocates worker rights.
It says the $1.7 billion the government spent on the contracts in 2018 was five times the amount it spent in 2008. “By far,” wrote authors Chris Schwartz and Laura Padin, “the largest increase came in the past two years, when spending jumped from $812 million in 2016 to $1.7 billion in 2018.”
Despite the Republican platform pushing limited government, they said, “the Trump administration and its allies in Congress are merely outsourcing government work to temporary staffing agencies, which degrades the quality of those jobs and reduces accountability over the quality of that work.”