Forest Service IT workers win their A-76 bid

Some, but not all, technology employees at the Agriculture Department's Forest Service have dodged a bullet. They received final notice that management had chosen their reorganization plan over a commercial outsourcing proposal submitted under an Office of Management and the Budget Circular A-76 competition.

Spokeswoman Heidi Valetkevich said the employee group would implement a $295 million project over five years and that their plan would generate about $100 million in savings over the period.

The project will cover about 2,500 employees, many of whom have other duties in addition to IT services, Valetkevich said. The work involved now is equal to the tasks of about 830 employees, but efficiencies generated by the employee-designed reorganization plan will reduce the number of full-time equivalent employees to 650.

As a result, about 180 Forest Service employees will be displaced by the reorganization. Valetkevich said those employees would receive career counseling and possibly get other jobs in the agency or qualify for early buyouts.

Employees covered by the competition maintain the infrastructure of IT operations and operate radio communication systems. They are located in 43 states, Valetkevich said. Part of the reorganization will involve consolidating some IT operations across the 155 national forests.

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