Outsourcing Jobs, Not Secrets

Outsourcing Jobs, Not Secrets<@VM>Techtoons

Steve LeSueur

By Steve LeSueur, Editor

If the highly secretive National Security Agency can outsource its computers, networks and information technology infrastructure, then any government agency ought to be able to outsource its IT services. At least that's what IT industry officials are saying.

Whether true or not, three prime contractors — AT&T Corp., Computer Sciences Corp. and OAO Corp. — already are lining up partners for the NSA's $5 billion outsourcing project, known as Groundbreaker. The agency expects to release a request for proposals in several months.

While few industry officials would talk on the record about Groundbreaker — perhaps in deference to the spirit of NSA's mission — Staff Writer Nick Wakeman still was able to gather details about the partnering arrangements and the NSA's plans.

As Nick's article makes clear, the project's biggest challenge may not be ensuring that outsourcing does not compromise agency secrets, but rather gaining the support of the agency's 4,000 to 5,000 IT professionals whose jobs will be transferred to the private sector.

And speaking of new jobs, we've just filled two writing positions at Washington Technology. This issue marks the debut of Staff Writers Gail Repsher and William Welsh. Gail will be covering Workplace issues, while William takes over the State and Local beat. Both have jumped in feet first, as the saying goes, and have made excellent contributions to their first issue, including a front-page article by William about an electronic procurement in Maryland. Keep your eye on these new writers.

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