Letter to the Editor

I enjoyed reading your article, "Daniels: Fed IT workers "not the best.' " I agree with the two gentlemen in the following two paragraphs:

* For the most part, federal IT workers do what is asked and perform to the best of their abilities, Daniels said. But the workforce environment — from the old civil service structure to the broken recruitment and retention process—ensures that government workers do not get needed training and keeps experienced people from joining the public sector, he said.

* Bobby Harnage, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, called Daniels' remarks "very unfortunate" and said they promote the administration's "privatization agenda."

Harnage agreed that employees haven't received proper advanced training and said they are undercompensated. Agencies have the best and the brightest, he said, "but it is hard to hold on to them when you don't pay what they are entitled to."

I also would acknowledge that as long as the information technology occupational series is categorized as administrative and not professional, why should IT employees obtain college degrees? For those without related college degrees, I suggest leaving them in the 334 occupational series, and for those with related college degrees [e.g., math, computer science, information systems, etc.] putting them in the 2200 series and making the 2200 series a professional series.

How many companies employ/promote personnel in their information systems/technology departments to managerial positions without a college degree of some sort?

However, I disagree with the following statement from the article: Federal information technology workers "are probably not the best the nation has to offer" and are hampering the government's efforts to create an electronic government, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said last week.

What does this guy (Daniels) expect from federal government employees who are not given the same opportunities as our counterparts in the private sector?

Bottom line: The government gets what it pays for with the IT workers. Politics should be set aside and employees should be promoted from within the most technically qualified pool across all government agencies. This would prove more effective than privatization and non-constructive criticism.

Name withheld by request

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