DHS restructures IT workforce

DHS tries to strike a balance between federal workers and contractors

The Homeland Security Department is restructuring its workforce to achieve a more even balance between federal information technology personnel and contractors.

When Richard Spires, DHS’ chief information officer, came on board a year ago, his organization had about 100 employees and 900 contractors, Spires told attendees during a conference on public-sector data centers Aug. 31 in Washington, D.C. The conference was sponsored by DataCenter Dynamics.

“Right now we are looking to rebalance that workforce in my organization and many parts of DHS,” Spires said, noting that some other DHS components have their own CIOs who do not report to him.

“We’re making progress,” he said. Now his organization has about 240 employees, and he wants to reach 350 by this time next year. It’s not an issue of lacking confidence in contractors, he added. Rather, the rebalancing is about identifying what is best done by federal employees versus tasks that are best performed by contractors.

Incidentally, Spires noted he had been on the job for exactly one year as of Aug. 31. Some people wondered if that would happen “because I’m the eighth CIO at DHS in eight years,” Spires said. “So I’m already past the tenure of past CIOs,” which he said might give an indication of the nature of the job.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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