WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Pentagon is reviewing all private contractors as the department deals with budget cuts and the lucrative payment to an NSA leaker casts a spotlight on the outside work.
Hagel said Tuesday that the department has no choice as it faces a cut in projected spending of $37 billion this year from automatic, across-the-board cuts.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin cited published reports about Edward Snowden, a former employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, who revealed details of two National Security Agency surveillance programs. The reports said the high school dropout received a six-figure salary.
Snowden has since been fired by the firm.
Durbin said private contractors employ 22 percent of the Defense Department workforce but account for 50 percent of the cost for the department.
Hagel testified at a Senate subcommittee hearing.