Letter to the editor

This is in response to an FCW.com survey question that asked "What is the primary obstacle to improving information security at federal agencies?"

Mr. Michael Huggins (March 8 comment) has a valid point. At the upper levels of security, it is much more profitable to join the Beltway Bandits than it is to be employed by the government.

To a lesser extent, that is also true of the working engineers and technical staff. I admit to being naive about the system, but when you have what {italics} appears {end italics} to be so many government jobs being set up to go to outside sources, then you see senior officials joining that or a related firm.

And that brings us to the comment by Mr. Carnahan (March 7). It boils down to politics. The federal government is a large multiheaded beast, with each head wanting its way.

But the politicking does not stop there — it extends all the way to the local level. For example, a highly qualified person was not given the job because the person in command did not like engineers and stated that no engineer would hold a network job. Instead, a proven lesser-qualified person holding a nontechnical degree was placed in charge.

Politics and money to be made — as long as that takes precedence over getting the job done right, none of the other problems mean much.

Name withheld by request

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