Foreign worker policy questioned

ITAA letter

Industry representatives are raising questions about the Defense Department's proposed policy that could prohibit those who are not citizens from working on unclassified information technology projects.

The Information Technology Association of America, an Arlington, Va., industry group, sent a letter March 18 to Pete Aldridge, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, urging DOD to "conduct a full public review and discussion of its proposal."

ITAA president Harris Miller noted that there has not been a public discussion of the possible risks of the proposal and that the potential impact has not been adequately assessed.

"America's defense readiness depends on having ready access to the best available technology and technical skill sets," Miller cautioned. "Precipitous action here could make it much more difficult and expensive for the military services to acquire the requisite IT services."

Many vendors have been quietly expressing their concern about the proposal. Most, however, are unclear about its full ramifications.

Details of the Pentagon plan remain somewhat unclear because DOD has not released the policy.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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