Letter to the editor
Following are responses to an FCW.com poll question that asked: Should government outsource more IT services?
By outsourcing more information technology services, you displace those who tend to the government community and have knowledge of what has transpired and what is to be done. Such displacement of government personnel moves knowledgeable individuals from one organization and places them in another place or forces them out of government service. As this happens, the knowledge and history of that organization's IT functions diminishes.
This is not just because of lack of documentation; it is the loss of knowledge between the IT personnel and all the functional users and their needs. Yes, it can be overcome. However, there is frustration in what happens to those functional users and a lack of confidence that occurs while the new outsourced activity is getting to know its customers' needs.
I doubt if many of the government IT personnel that are getting near retirement will opt to stay in service to qualify for their retirement, thereby causing a loss of knowledge at the affected organization.
Arnold Fazio Medical Department Activity Fort Jackson
What happened to the directives concerning self-sufficient government agencies? Heavily depending upon outside sources for critical support is just the opposite.
Having no direct control over people working on your systems is not my idea of a secure and dependable infrastructure. Once the damage is done, it will almost be impossible correct. All specially trained personnel will be employed elsewhere and the contractor will have more control than some care to admit.
Name withheld by request