Letters to the editor

Outsourcing IT arguments

Following are responses to an FCW.com poll question that asked: Should government outsource more IT services?

We are very heavily dependent on information technology services. As we get new requirements, some of our applications have to be changed. It is very difficult to get this done with so many of our former government IT experts converted to contractors. The knowledge these people have about the workings of our various programs goes with them. A contractor new to the application would require many months to become familiar with some of the complex applications.

Stein Asbjornsen

Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center

***

From a purely fiscal viewpoint, outsourcing costs more than internal for the long haul. True, the size of government has gone down over the recent years, but the "cost" of government has gone up.

Additionally, internal IT staff can be more stable with the right incentives than would outsourced IT with job hopping as the predominant means of professional advancement.

Juan Boquet Federal Emergency Management Agency

***

It has been my experience that contracting out small to medium projects is more costly to the government. One major reason is lack of experience in writing scope of work, selecting the right contract vehicle and contract maintenance. Contracts for IT should be limited to very large projects requiring more personnel than the office has available or for some modeling and simulation applications requiring specialized experience.

Priscilla Truesdell

Lackland Air Force Base San Antonio, Texas

***

In this day and age of threats to national security, it seems to be a really bad idea to be thinking of outsourcing IT!

Name withheld by request

***

There are a lot of government employees who would like the chance to have some of these jobs that will be outsourced. I myself would welcome the chance. I work in the Internal Revenue Service's Modernization Information Technology Services and would like a computer-related job. I think that the requirements could be changed so that those of us who don't have the experience could be selected for a computer-type position and trained for the position. I know I could learn the job if given the chance.

Name withheld by request

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