DOE plans to retain bulk of contractor IT workforce

CIO Tom Pyke said department will insource some jobs but likely retain contractors

The Energy Department expects to maintain the bulk of its information technology contract workforce despite insourcing trends, said Tom Pyke, DOE's chief information officer.

The department is reviewing its workforce mix for insourcing opportunities under the guidelines of the Obama administration, but the results of that review, in terms of hiring, are not likely to be substantial, Pyke said at a meeting today sponsored by the market research firm Input Inc. 

DOE has an urgent need to perform missions that cannot be efficiently accomplished without contractors, Pyke said.

“I do not see any massive hiring of IT folks as federal employees,” Pyke said. “We will continue to get the bulk of our IT services by contracting, and there are a lot of good reasons for that. “

The workload for achieving departmental missions is huge, and the department needs up-to-date expertise in cybersecurity and other areas that is available through contractors, he said.

“We need our partnerships to get things done,” Pyke said. “We cannot do it without our partnerships.”

The White House has been viewed as an advocate for insourcing and creating new federal jobs for previously contracted work when possible. The administration in July released several memos outlining several procurement reforms, including approaches to insourcing.

In related news, DOE’s largest information technology opportunity for fiscal 2010 is a $9 billion contract to be awarded for management of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Brian Haney, senior vice president of member services for Input, said at the event.

The new Oak Ridge contract will be subject to full and open competition, Haney said. The current contract is held by UT-Batelle LLC, a non-profit organization.

The Oak Ridge contract is part of DOE's $2 billion internal IT budget and does not reflect the department’s one-time distribution of $37 billion in economic stimulus law funding for energy efficiency, smart grid projects, energy independence and research, Haney said.

Other upcoming IT opportunities are a five-year contract valued at $90 million for support of specialized cybersecurity services to the National Nuclear Security Administration, and a five-year, $50 million contract for support for the Cyber Incident Response Center, Pyke said.

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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