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Transportation to federalize some IT contractors

Contractors cost more than federal employees, raising the cost of shared services, says CIO

Aug. 13, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

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The Transportation Department will be federalizing some of its IT contractor workforce in order to save money and invest in new programs, according to its Chief Information Officer Richard McKinney.

He said at the 2014 Federal Forum in Washington Aug. 13 that there are about 50 federal employees and 250 contractors running its shared services and common operating environment platforms, and that contractors cost significantly more money. Part of that cost was passed on to component agencies, raising the cost of shared services.

“We did an exhaustive analysis, and the long and short of it is we were spending a lot more. Just let me say the number was eye-popping,” McKinney said. He said he sat down with agency employees to decide which jobs should be federal and which should remain contractors.

He said with the savings every federal employee within the shared services and common environment areas would be able to get two weeks of training a year. He plans on implementing that plan over the next two or three years, he said.

The push to save money is part of his effort to make shared services more attractive to component agencies by reducing costs, increasing the operational capabilities and molding the environment to fit the needs of the clients.

Component agencies are now actively involved in the process and are working with the CIO office to make sure a future shared services environment meets their needs, he said.

The agency has already made great strides in issuing ID cards for employees and in breaking down barriers between different parts of the agency — a process McKinney wants to continue.

He said agencies should strive to improve their services and their IT infrastructure and not settle for doing things the way they have always been done.

“We don’t have to be good enough, we can be great. We ought to work hard at that,” McKinney said.■

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