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U.S. Representative and mayoral hopeful Bob Filner is one of 131 signers to a letter drafted by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) questioning Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta over the Pentagon’s workforce management plans.

The Department of Defense says it’s hoping to save money by scaling back the number of civilian employees working at the Pentagon. Critics, however, including the letter’s signatories, charge that the duties handled by these workers are instead being assigned to more expensive private contractors, resulting in an overall increase in cost.

“These gimmicks are causing mass layoffs of civilian employees, but they aren't actually saving any money,” says Hinchey, who along with her supporters urges Panetta to consider workforce management laws and provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which calls for reduced reliance on public contractors.

The group wants the Department of Defense to eliminate the cap on civilian employees, while speeding implementation of a plan to cap spending on outside contractors at 2010 levels.

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