V15_2004c - Outsourcing Post-conflict Operations Designing a System for Contract Management and Oversight 21 2 OUTSOURCING POST-CONFLICT OPERATIONS

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21 Outsourcing Post-confict Operations: Designing a System For Contract Management and Oversight Journal of Public and International Affairs, Volume 15/Spring 2004 Copyright © 2004, the Trustees of Princeton University http://www.princeton.edu/~jpia 7 2 Blake W. Mobley is a Master oF Public Policy candidate at the Kennedy School oF Government, Harvard University ([email protected]). O UTSOURCING P OST - CONFLICT O PERATIONS : D ESIGNING A S YSTEM FOR C ONTRACT M ANAGEMENT AND O VERSIGHT Blake W. Mobley Over the past ten years the United States has relied on private contractors to support military forces and rehabilitate national infrastructures in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Though contractors are essential to such post-conFict operations, the U.S. government’s management and oversight of outsourced support remains critically de±cient. As the United States builds its institutional capacity for long-term post-conFict reconstruction, it will need to outsource tasks to specialized private ±rms and non-pro±t organizations more strategically, ef±ciently, and transparently. This paper assesses the rami±ca- tions of post-conFict outsourcing in four sections. The ±rst section provides a brief history of outsourcing in military and reconstruction operations. The second analyzes the bene±ts of private contracting arrangements. The third considers pitfalls of the current U.S. outsourcing system, which include inef±ciencies as well as more serious security threats. The ±nal section con- cludes with policy recommendations to improve management systems in the context of post-conFict operations.
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22 Blake W. Mobley I NTRODUCTION In the last ten years the United States has undertaken post-confict recon- struction operations in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, AFghanistan, and Iraq. Even a cursory analysis oF these missions reveals glaring de±ciencies in the U.S. government’s institutional capacity For post-confict reconstruc- tion. One oF the most striking de±cits has been the U.S. government’s inability to adequately manage outsourced and contracted support op- erations during post-confict reconstruction. Since the U.S. government lacks both the personnel and the competency to handle reconstruction on its own, it has relied on private contractors to undertake some oF the most critical reconstruction operations in the last decade. As the United States augments its institutional capacity For post-confict reconstruction operations, it will need to improve its capacity to strategically, eF±ciently, and transparently outsource tasks to specialized private ±rms and non- pro±t organizations. This paper addresses three main questions: 1) How has the United States bene±ted From outsourcing in past reconstruction eFForts? 2) What have these experiences revealed about the dangers and disadvantages oF con- tracting in quasi-war zones? 3) How might these insights help to enhance the U.S. government’s institutional capacity For post-confict reconstruc-
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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V15_2004c - Outsourcing Post-conflict Operations Designing a System for Contract Management and Oversight 21 2 OUTSOURCING POST-CONFLICT OPERATIONS

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