Most of NFC's IT crew return to Big Easy

Living out of a silver FEMA trailer in his driveway, National Finance Center director Jerry Lohfink returned to work at his New Orleans office last month. IT and federal processing staff are following him, with most expected back in NFC's Big Easy headquarters by Feb. 10.

Lohfink and his IT staff, who process the payroll for about 600,000 federal employees, have been working from Philadelphia; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Alexandria, La., since Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding drove them from their offices in August.

NFC's data center, however, will remain at its backup location near Philadelphia until a previously planned new facility is completed in June outside the hurricane zone, said NFC CIO Gil Hawk. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also has outfitted Hawk and his family with a one-bedroom/one-bath trailer.

With NFC's data center in Philadelphia, IT staff will process payrolls remotely from New Orleans'similar to how they will do it with the new data center at the National IT Center in Kansas City, Mo., Hawk said. Both NFC and the NITC are part of the Agriculture Department. About one-third of the NFC IT staff will remain at the Philadelphia location.

NFC has 100 fewer employees returning than before Hurricane Katrina, Lohfink said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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