Letter to the editor

The title and first paragraph of your article are very misleading ["IT workforce hurting e-gov," July 26]. The problems with the IT workforce are too little training money and too few recruitment permissions, not the IT personnel.

In my humble opinion (IMHO), the problem of a lack of money for training is a direct result of the fee-for-service fiasco of a few years ago. This concept translated into telling the IT workforce that cutting training and working lots of overtime were the only two options for improvement that were open to them.

Decent training and limited overtime were major incentives for many IT employees to choose government employment in the first place. Many of the best ones left.

IMHO, the number of positions approved for active recruitment right now are very low compared to industry levels. Major agencies with thousands of people in IT have recruited at less than half a percent per year replacement levels for the last 10 years.

The excuse for low recruitment has been that IT should be outsourced. The reality is that outsourcing has been ineffective except for enriching Beltway bandits. The IT employees that remain have been trying to compensate for the reductions in resources. Any criticism should be tempered by factoring in the huge costs and risks resulting from the current public policy favoring outsourcing.

Name withheld by request

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