DHS infrastructure unit hiring 621 more workers

DHS gearing up for infrastructure protection

The Homeland Security Department’s infrastructure protection division has hired 300 people in the last year and is looking for 621 new employees in the next 18 months as it seeks to “right-size” its federal and contracting workforces, the division's director has told a congressional panel.

“It is my personal belief that organizations succeed or fail based on the people that they have. Therefore, that takes the majority of my time,” Philip Reitinger, deputy undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (PPD)  told the House Homeland Security Committee’s Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee on June 10.

"We are making efforts to, as you said, right-size the contractor workforce so that we build up our government personnel capabilities, create expertise in government, and use contractors appropriately for the roles for which they are best suited," Reitinger said.

Currently, the unit has 800 federal employees and about 264 vacancies. Reitinger said he hopes to add 200 more federal workers by September 30.

In fiscal 2010, the goal is to hire 350 additional federal workers by reducing contractor funding, and to create 71 new positions, mostly in cybersecurity, he said. This will bring the total workforce of the directorate to 2,710 by September 2010, he said.

“Filling vacant federal positions and right sizing the federal and contractor staff ratio across NPPD is my utmost priority,” Reitinger said.

Reitinger on June 3 also was named as director of the National Cyber Security Center.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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