Defense Department OKs IT Employee Swap

Susan Hall

Last week U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra unveiled a 25-point plan for reforming IT within the federal government.


Lord knows, the government needs all the help it can get. Blogger Lora Bentley pointed to a patent office in which workers print out electronically filed patent applications, take them to another room and then scan them back into the system. There's no arguing with the description of that system as "broken." Our Mike Vizard has called for an across-the-board review of the use of IT in government.


The feds have sought advice from the tech industry. Some, such as Vivek Wadhwa, a senior research associate at Harvard Law School and director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, advocate for just letting the private sector fix it.<br />


A more palatable step for many will be an employee swap authorized by the Department of Defense. A public-private employee swap was one of the points in Kundra's plan. This one allows American citizens at the GS-11 level and above to change places with a private-sector worker of comparable level for three to 24 months, reports Fierce Government IT.


According to a description in the Federal Register:

Given the changing workforce dynamics in the IT field, DoD needs to take advantage of these types of professional development programs to proactively position itself to keep pace with the changes in technology.

Those federal workers can come from the Defense Information Systems Agency, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research, the Office of the DoD CIO, the Air Force or the Army, reports InformationWeek. The idea is for federal workers to learn the latest in cyber security and best practices. It's not clear what the private-sector workers will gain from this. And given the problems that Uncle Sam has with retention, this might serve only to show federal workers where the grass is greener.

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