Rep. Davis wants government, industry to swap IT employees

Rep. Davis wants government, industry to swap IT employees

By Dipka Bhambhani

GCN staff

JULY 31'If Rep. Tom Davis has his druthers, hundreds of federal information technology workers will trade jobs with private-sector employees for up to two years.

That's the idea behind his plan for a Digital TechCorps, which the Virginia Republican unveiled today at a hearing of his House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy.

The corps would be a group of workers from the government that would work for up to two years in the private sector while private-sector employees offer their jobs in trade to work within agencies.

The government workers would receive salary and benefits from their agencies and sign contracts to return to their federal jobs after the two-year terms.

Davis said federal workers are not gaining adequate technical savvy and so are stymieing the growth of IT as a whole within government.

'They sit here stagnating,' he said. 'The federal government needs to be the leader. We are not the leader.'

Testifying at the hearing, Comptroller General David M. Walker and Stephen A. Perry, administrator for the General Services Administration, raised concerns about the bill.

'Eighty percent of what needs to be done can be done in the context of current law,' Walker said.
He said a change in management style, giving workers more flexibility, and offering education and more training are better recruitment and retention options.

Perry added that the bill does not, in its current state, solve the problem of bringing more people into the federal government. "There should be a greater emphasis on bringing people in," he said.

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