Letters to the editor

Stop Bickering

Stop Bickering

I am writing in response to the anonymous letter "Contracting out is risky" [FCW, Oct. 1] that points a crooked finger at fellow U.S. citizens. I take offense to this letter, which said that we as Americans are at risk because contractors are allowed to perform work for our government.

First, the opinion of the author of this letter plays right into the hands of the terrorists by pitting law- abiding American against law-abiding American. Rather than being suspicious of terrorists, they want us to be looking over our shoulders at our neighbors. Second, I have been a contractor for more than 16 years, and I take the letter-writer's opinion personally. I know for a fact that at every government agency I have supported or worked with during my years in the Army, every contractor goes through just as intense a security check as the government workers he or she supports.

Third, the government and its agencies have used contractors for many reasons for many years. Government employees and contractors alike have worked as a team throughout my career, so I do not think the letter-writer represents reality. I suspect the author is really upset about the use of contractors rather than government people and is using this unfounded "risk" as a smoke screen for his or her own personal bias.

Americans and civilized people around the world should be pulling together to defeat the terrorist infestation rather than bickering among ourselves.

Name withheld by request

Turning to Feds

Milt Zall certainly hit the nail on the head in his Oct. 15 FCW column, "More feds, not fewer." I've been thinking much the same thing, but he is the first person I have noticed saying it publicly.

Airline security, when entrusted to the private sector, was mostly for show and done as cheaply as possible. As soon as the Sept. 11 attacks happened, politicians of every political stripe suddenly were jumping on the bandwagon of federalizing airport security, yet about half of them are in the camp that says that the private sector can do a better job than the federal government at any task. I hope the next time they are tempted to say that, they think of that smoking pile of rubble in lower Manhattan.

What's next? I trust you have noted, as I have with a mixture of amusement and outrage, that the insurance industry now wants the government to get involved as the insurer of last resort. The private sector will make all the money, of course, but if they don't have enough in reserve to accommodate their liabilities, the American taxpayer is supposed to bail them out.

All I can say is that we certainly live in curious times.

Chris Oberlin

Wheaton, Md.

IT Workers Wanted?

This is regarding the government's current hiring practice for information technology personnel.

I'm currently a federal employee. I have more than four years of solid programming experience. I have applied for several positions requiring my skills. The positions I have applied for have been with agencies having multiple positions to fill. My question is this: How can these agencies say they have trouble finding skilled IT workers when after at least six months, a resume reflecting strong programming skills gets no reply, no notice of ranking or even a thanks-but-no-thanks letter?

Here are the issues that trouble me most:

n Is the applicant expected to accept that the position applied for is not going to be filled for a year or two?

n Does being a current government employee taint my viability as an IT candidate?

n Why do human resources personnel seem to do their best to not keep the applicant informed of his or her status in a current so-called hiring or recruitment effort? What good is it if your contact person has no idea of when the position will be filled or when applicants will be scored?

n I've used the online resume service and applaud the effort of those that created it. But if the hiring process at the agency or the Office of Personnel Management remains a huge black hole, then the online resume builder is useless.

I ask, where is the real problem with finding skilled IT workers? Has anyone else encountered these obstacles? Is outsourcing the answer rather than hiring an applicant already on the government payroll?

My current career objective is to keep my IT skills in the government. If that's not what the government wants, then I wish they would inform me.

Name withheld by request

WRITE US

We welcome your comments. To send a letter to the editor, use this form.

Please check out the archive of Letters to the Editor for fellow readers' comments.

NEXT STORY: The ways of wills, Part 1

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.