FCW@20: Worn down from budget battle

From the Jan. 8, 1996, issue of Federal Computer Week

Agencies yet to receive fiscal 1996 funding were left with skeletal staffs to keep systems up and running last week. But the most damaging, long-term impact of the three-week shutdown may be the departure of disgruntled federal information technology employees.

Information resources management officials interviewed last week said they fear that many of their staff members, tired of being caught in the middle of the budget battle, may look for jobs in the private sector.

Such an exodus would drain IRM offices of much-needed talent at a time when the government is turning to technology to achieve greater efficiencies.

Officials such as Paul Wohlleben, deputy director of IRM at the Environmental Protection Agency, worry that the shutdown has beaten the motivation out of many computer specialists.

“Something like this wears down that sense of public service, and I’m convinced it wears down that motivation to do it,” he said.

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