Passport case raises outsourcing concern
Associated Press (2008-03-24)
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Associated Press - March 24, 2008 7:23 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's a big question in Washington; Should private contract workers have access to sensitive information on citizens?
Last week, contractors were found to have pried into the passport files of presidential candidates.
The State Department had taken drastic action last fall to handle a huge backlog in passport applications. The department brought in employees on overseas assignment to help out -- and also hired contractors.
One congressman raised the question last month if the government relied too heavily on contract workers, such as the Blackwater security guards involved in fatal shootings in Iraq.
The State Department is defending the practice , saying contract employees are carefully screened for integrity. The Bush administration says outsourcing saves money and boosts efficiency.
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