Defence bureaucracy still bloated two years after benchmark report

OTTAWA – Civilian staff on the payroll at National Defence grew almost 30 per cent over six years, despite budget cuts and warnings the military has too much tail and not enough teeth.

The figures are in a spreadsheet report of the entire federal civil service, compiled by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

The tables show that since the Harper government was elected, the number of non-uniformed employees at Defence rose to 27,177 at the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year from 20,978 in 2005-06.

That’s far ahead of the 14 per cent increase the entire civil service saw during the Conservative mandate.

The administrative burden at Defence is something that caught the attention of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

He warned Defence Minister Peter MacKay last year, in a letter obtained by The Canadian Press, to take a second run at budget cuts to reduce overhead.