CIOs' work force worries
- By Judi Hasson
- Apr 10, 2000
Four top chief information officials say their biggest headache is the dwindling
high-tech work force and figuring out what it will take to keep talented
personnel in government.
"We face some daunting statistics in what's going to happen to our work
force," Internal Revenue Service CIO Paul Cosgrave said at a Washington,
D.C., luncheon April 6 sponsored by the Professional Services Council.
Compounding the problem of a constant brain drain to the better-paying
private sector, the IRS expects 25 percent of its work force to retire in
the next two years. The average age of an information technology worker
in government is 47, Cosgrave said.
"It is an aging work force. If we don't do something soon, we'll be
out of business," Cosgrave said.
Joseph Leo, CIO at the Agriculture Department, concurred; he has a work
force that is "aging and declining rapidly."
Transportation CIO George Molaski said he hoped ideas such as the Federal
Cyber Services proposal in the president's National Plan for Information
Systems Protection would help infuse government with new workers ["Wanted:
Digital defenders," FCW, Jan. 24].
Molaski also said that retention bonuses for IT workers may prevent
flight to the private sector, at least for a short time.
The government is likely to outsource more high-tech work because of
the lack of government IT workers, the CIOs said. However, NASA deputy CIO
David Nelson said the space agency is reluctant to outsource much of its
work because of its mostly sensitive and classified nature. "We're reluctant
to give to you the mission control," Nelson told the vendors.