In the wake of 9/11, the US government was forced to turn to independent contractors as it scrambled to beef up defense and intelligence. That influx of private sector employees was never meant to be a long-term solution, but over a decade later, those contracting companies have gained an increasingly prominent position, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. Now Congress is paying attention. Following the leaks that occurred through NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, questions have been raised about how security access should be granted and who it should be granted to.

But changing the status quo may not be easy: Booz Allen has friends in high places, and hiring outside of the public sector is often the only way to get something done. Businessweek has more on the debate around private contractors, including a brief history of Booz Allen and details on just how the company manages to land so many lucrative contracts.