DHS restructures IT workforce

DHS looks to strike a balance between federal workers and contractors, CIO says

The Homeland Security Department is restructuring its workforce to achieve a more even balance between federal information technology personnel and contractors.

When Richard Spires, DHS’ chief information officer, came on board a year ago his organization had about 100 federal workers and 900 contractors. That’s not a very good balance, Spires told attendees during a conference on public sector data centers on Aug. 31 in Washington, D.C. The conference was sponsored by DataCenter Dynamics.

“Right now we are looking to rebalance that workforce in my organization and many parts of DHS,” Spires said, noting that some other DHS components have their own CIOs who do not report to him.

“We’re making progress,” he said. Now his organization has about 240 federal workers and is looking to have more than 350 by this time next year. It’s not an issue of lacking confidence in contractors, he said. Rather, the rebalancing is about identifying what is best done by federal employees versus what’s best done by contractors.

Incidentally, Spires noted he had been on the job for exactly one year on Aug. 31. Some people wondered if that would happen “because I’m the eighth CIO at DHS in eight years,” Spires said. “So I’m already past the tenure of past CIOs,” adding that might give an indication of the nature of the job.


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About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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