SEC looks ahead and sees more outsourcing

The Securities and Exchange Commission is revamping its Office of Information
Technology because it has found that SEC could make much better use of its technology.


SEC began the reorganization in December and will complete changes by summer 1999. As
part of the process, the commission expects to outsource much of its IT work, SEC chief
information officer Michael Bartell said.


SEC needs to use technology smarter to keep up with a dramatic increase in securities
activities in recent years, Bartell said.


An internal study last year concluded that the SEC's IT staff does not have the skills
to meet commission needs and that many of its functions should be outsourced.


Outsourcing IT will give the OIT staff time to plan and manage projects, establish and
maintain the agency's technical architecture, provide security for data systems and
improve customer service.


All other functions, such as software design and development, mainframe programming and
maintenance, network engineering and work related to the Internet will be outsourced,
Bartell said.


"We are quite fortunate to have many talented staff members who possess excellent
skills," Bartell said. "But it is clear that technology is changing rapidly, and
the current staff does not have many of the skills required by the new organization."


As part of the change, SEC will move to a client-server environment, the study said.


BTG Inc. of Fairfax, Va., signed a five-year contract with SEC in December to establish
a help desk and to oversee network administration and data communications.


SEC also issued a draft request for proposals for applications development and expects
to award a four-year contract early this summer.


SEC has asked for more money to pay for the revamping. The agency's 1998 IT budget is
$25 million, and OIT requested an additional $5.7 million for next year.


"We don't expect to fire anyone," Bartell said. "But we are aggressively
recruiting to acquire the balance of the necessary skills to support our new structure and
mission."


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