Letter to the editor
Following is a response to an FCW.com poll question that asked: "Should managers joining the proposed Homeland Security Department have to reapply for their jobs?"
Managers for the new Homeland Security Department (HSD) should have to reapply for their jobs.
The government has long had a policy that "any manager can manage anybody." This just is not the case anymore. As technology increases in complexity, and as the "bad guys" use it more, we need managers that understand more than just managing people. Our managers, especially in HSD, need to understand technological security possibilities.
All the employees of HSD are coming from everywhere across the broad spectrum of the government. Unless the manager can understand more than just the surface of technological security, the department is doomed.
Each agency does things differently, so the manager will need to be able to think outside his or her customary box. This can't be done without also understanding the difference between pie-in-the-sky wishfulness that can't be implemented, and bleeding-edge possibilities that can get you what you need now.
Our managers have historically committed us to delivering the impossible because of these differences. This cannot be continued with the stand-up of HSD.
Martin Bridges Internal Revenue Service