Letter to the editor

I agree that we are missing opportunities to recruit top security personnel. Federal pay scales and bureaucratic decision-making are our primary cause of failure. I concur with the statement, "If federal agencies are having difficulty hiring information security experts, they have only themselves to blame" ["Filling the ranks," FCW, Dec. 3, 2001].

For example, I'm a college graduate with a bachelor of science degree in computer information science, 18 years of computer experience, and I'm Defense Department-trained and -certified in computer security (more than 300 hours).

My past assignment was abolished at the end of 2000, and I was reassigned to a job that requires no secret clearance or information security. Because of this, I've been denied security workshop training and secret clearance renewal.

Why are we overlooking inside talents? What kind of bureaucratic system has been created that takes three to six months to fill internal and external announcements?

James Cook
Computer technical support
Martin Army Community Hospital

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