'Seamless' switch eyed for NSA staff

One day after winning the National Security Agency's $2 billion Groundbreaker contract, Computer Sciences Corp. officials started meeting with the 750 government employees whose jobs are being affected.

Agency and CSC officials say the successful transition of those employees into the private sector is a top goal.

"The goal of this program is to make the personnel transitions as seamless as possible for those government em.ployees who choose employment with the Eagle Alliance," said an NSA spokeswoman. The Eagle Alliance is the outsourcing team led by CSC.

Details of the program are classified, but officials said employees are being offered comparable salaries and benefits and upfront bonuses as incentives to stay.

"It's so important that we execute this properly because it's being watched by a lot of people," said Tom Robinson, president of CSC's federal sector defense group. He added that it is especially important for the company to retain the 750 government workers.

CSC met with those employees for the first time Aug. 1, the day after the contract award was announced. They were also expected to meet several times the week of Aug. 6. Some CSC employees meeting with the government workers will be former NSA workers whose positions were outsourced under the five-year, $20 million Breakthrough program, a precursor to Groundbreaker. Those employees can explain the process they've been through and help allay any fears.

"We have a very aggressive communications program," Robinson said. "We have a Web site established that explains this whole program. We have a help desk established just for Groundbreaker transition. We're ready."

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