Clinton: Keep work force study going

The Clinton administration has asked Congress to permanently fund a governmentwide

study of federal information technology workers' pay and positions to serve

as a reference for future initiatives.

The Office of Personnel Management plans to complete its first IT occupational

study this year to determine the differences between pay scales for federal

IT workers and their counterparts in the private sector.

OPM will use the study to validate the IT job profile model that describes

specific qualifications of the GS-334 computer specialist and GS-391 telecommunications

series of jobs.

The study data can support many projects, including the president's

Federal Cyber Services initiative, which aims to expand the number of information

security professionals in government, said Mark Montgomery, director of

trans-national threats at the National Security Council.

The Clinton administration wants to provide OPM with $1 million annually

to conduct the study every two years. The study is time-consuming, and the

IT arena changes so fast that OPM should continually work on the study instead

of waiting several years before starting a new one, Montgomery said.

Any move that strengthens OPM's ability to keep up-to-date information

on the IT job market helps, but it's just a start, said Ira Hobbs, Agriculture

CIO and co-chairman of the CIO Council's Federal IT Workforce Committee.

"The question is: Based on [OPM] getting the data, how fast can we make

changes? The bottom line is speed to seat," Hobbs said.

Colleen O'Hara contributed to this story.

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