Tester’s pay cut for government contractors goes into effect, saving taxpayers millions

Senator says contractor salary cap should be extended to all agencies

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is saving taxpayers millions of dollars as his provision to cut pay to government contracting executives by half goes into effect.

The White House is announcing that it will implement a Tester-backed measure to cap the taxpayer-funded portion of contracting executives’ salaries at $487,000 at three agencies: the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and NASA. The executive pay cut was included in the bipartisan buget bill that passed the Congress in December.

Prior to this provision becoming law, executive pay was benchmarked at $952,000.

Tester, who also sponsored a bipartisan measure to cap current contractors’ salaries at $230,700, noted that government contractors were responsible for the disastrous healthcare.gov rollout and recent national security clearance breaches. While he believes the cap should be lowered even more, Tester says it is a step in the right direction.

“For years now, contractors have done more and more of the government’s work with not enough transparency or accountability to the American people” Tester said. “This new rule should be extended to all government agencies, so taxpayers don’t overpay for work that is done in their interest.”

Tester noted that lowering the cap will not hurt a company’s quality of work or its ability to offer competitive salaries, as it only limits the share of taxpayer dollars going toward an executive’s salary.

While the new rule takes effect immediately, it will only become permanent after a 60-day public comment period.

Tester, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce, previously introduced a bill to prevent security clearance contractors from reviewing and approving their own background check investigations.