January 3, 2011 --- Washington
In attempt to shore up weakness in it's networking systems and to give it's drones, er, employees greater exposure and expertise, the Department of Defense is in talks with private industry to 'trade' IT employees amongst themselves for the foreseeable future. I guess they want to make the unofficial standard, official.
In its current incarnation, the program would select exceptional IT specialists from the Pentagon and integrate them into the private sector. These individuals would remain federal employees, but would be contracted to perform maintenance and/or network administration tasks from 3 months to 2 years. Private sector firms would implement similar measures from their end, with their employees. Cool, when's the draft? Is there a free agency signing period? Do I get a shoe deal?!
According to a Washington Post report, no more than 10 employees from each sector would be eligible to participate in the program at a time. This is most likely due to security concerns, who needs to know what and who has access to what. All assignments would need to be green-lit before September 2013. Due to the relatively small number of individuals who'll be tapped to participate, makes one wonder about the effectiveness of the program in reaching it's own goals.
"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," according to a notice in the Federal Register, which publishes government documents.
Benjamin Burton Jr. 1/3/2011