While contractor labor has long been considered less expensive than fully-loaded federal employee labor, or at least more flexible, a new report states that many civilian positions at DOD can actually be filled more cheaply by feds.  The report says that federal employees can perform “comparable” work for less in areas such as Washington, D.C. and the Southeast.  Still, there are some valid reasons why contractor is justifiably more expensive.  The specialized skills and capabilities of specific contractor assets are often cited by DOD customers as a reason why a contractor needs to be hired in the first place.  Related to this, too, is that contractors are better able to pay market rates for people that possess unique skills, making the contractor option the only one available to DOD in many circumstances.  Still, contractors should be prepared to address the report’s claims.  The in-coming Congress may choose to reignite the debate between outsourcing and keeping certain work in-house, especially at DOD.  Contractors should definitely make sure that their customers understand the value of the services they receive from contractor labor.  Whether its specific expertise or immediate mission support that federal workers can’t provide, contractors make many federal missions possible.  The cost of not being able to meet those missions is something that the report’s authors, and Congress, should consider before making any conclusions.