Letter to the editor

For too long, the federal government, like many other parts of industry, has been lax in making sure that all workers have a thorough security background check. Hiring skilled information technology professionals requires patience in the hiring process even if you need that person today. I cannot impress upon you enough how "wonderful" a programmer looks on paper compared to what you find when you dig a little deeper.

Most of our industry assumes that contract workers have been thoroughly checked out by contracting firms. Well, we have seen at our nation's airports what happens when contracting firms are left with that responsibility.

Background checks cost money. And most employers overlook this necessary tool, or human resources professionals in their haste neglect this important part of the process.

Everyone knows that the weakest link is behind the security machine. As a former airline employee in HR, I am deeply concerned that federalizing baggage screeners without a lengthy security check would be a grave mistake, as would maintaining contract employees on a government network.

Mari Glass

SunGard Pentamation Inc.

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