Army ties job cuts to its PC outsourcing plan

Army ties job cuts to its PC outsourcing plan

Materiel Command CIO James Buckner says jobs dealing with classified data will not be outsourced.

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

As part of its PC outsourcing strategy, the Army Materiel Command will decide whether to do away with up to 1,000 technical positions during the next three years.

Service officials are conducting A-76 reviews at 62 Materiel Command sites to determine whether up to 2,000 civilian jobs in the command's directorates of information management (DOIM) are inherently governmental or if the work could be done by contractors, Materiel Command chief information officer James Buckner said.

Buckner called the jobs 'day-to-day and tactical functions. I daresay some of them will be outsourced' probably not all, but some.' About 50 percent of previous Army A-76 studies have resulted in approvals for outsourcing, he said.

The outcomes of the reviews 'will be linked with seat management decisions,' Buckner said.

Master plan

Many organizations in the command have begun plans to outsource PC operations. Officials at the Simulation, Training and In-strumentation Command in Or-lando, Fla., for instance, plan by June to outsource the management of their 1,000 PCs. STRICOM is considering vendors that have contracts under the General Services Administration's Seat Management Program and the Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA program, Buckner said.

After the STRICOM delivery order, Materiel Command officials will decide about the 57,000 other PCs used by the command, Buckner said.

The command will probably choose three- to four-year PC lifecycle options, as well as 24-hour turnaround for technical support, he said.

'We'll have a phased-in swap-out of computers,' Buckner said.''''

When a contractor assumes management of the command's PC operations, it also will eliminate the hassle experienced by officials who have had to dispose of used computers, he said.

In tandem, the command will start outsourcing some of its DOIM jobs. Buckner said, however, that jobs that include long-range strategic planning are not as likely to be outsourced as are technical support jobs.

A select few

'Commanders wouldn't allow contractors to perform some classified positions,' Buckner said.

Independent consultants are studying all 40 states and 24 countries in which the Material Command has offices, Buckner said.

He acknowledged that going from long-term government work to industry jobs would be traumatic for many of the command's employees.

But Buckner said most would be able to find employment with Army contractors.'For example, 500 Army software developers in Chambersburg, Pa., and St. Louis will begin work July 1 for Computer Sciences Corp. under the Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program.

Each employee is guaranteed three years of employment with CSC, plus benefits, he said.


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