Letter to the editor
I read the article on the IT staffing woes of the government and am wondering
what world the Office of Personnel Management has entered.
Every time Congress or the administration looks at reduction of forces,
they immediately look at the IT overhead column — the IT workforce. If we
have such a shortage, then why do they target this workforce for reduction?
It is true that a lot of IT staff are moving to the private sector, but
it is just as true that the government is telling its staff they need to
be looking for outside jobs as their jobs are probably going to be contracted
It is also true that the government pays less for government IT staff than
contracted staff (even with retirement and benefits). If someone says this
is not so — are you telling me that people are leaving the government for
better-paying jobs, which are usually the contractor support back to the
government, for less money than they made? I do not think so.
Why won't the Defense Department and the other agencies answer the question
that Congress has directed to them? How many positions (number of positions)
have been outsourced? How many contractors are now working to replace the
personnel (number of contractors)? What was the true cost of the government
employees? What is the true cost for contract support? How many times has
the government had to up those contracts because they shorted themselves
to reduce staff?
What are the training costs to private industry being passed on to the
government for keeping their personnel up to date on new technologies (for
those under government contracts)? How much did the government pay for the
training for the employees who were displaced or outsourced?
I would guess you will find that government employee numbers, salaries and
training costs are a great deal less than that of the contractors replacing
them. Tell me about the woes, but first tell me if they are "self-inflicted"
or due to a real shortage.
Terry L. Stone
Fort Belvoir, Va.