Ex-NSA employees win jobs with contractor

More than 1,000 contractor employees have been hired at the National Security Agency in recent months to work on the agency's multibillion-dollar information technology outsourcing pact.

The Fort Meade, Md.-based electronic spy agency awarded an industry team, led by Computer Sciences Corp., a $2 billion contract in July to manage the agency's IT infrastructure operations. The agreement, which covers everything from providing employees with state-of-the-art desktops to running the agency's complex computer networks, is among the largest outsourcing IT deals ever in the federal government.

"Bringing in the required skills and experience needed for success is a critical first step in the modernization of the NSA's information technology infrastructure," CSC officials said in a statement.

The industry team has hired 1,098 employees to provide NSA's IT services. Many of those workers are former agency employees. Under the contract, CSC and its partners were required to provide comparable jobs and pay for many of the NSA workers who lost their jobs in the outsourcing. CSC has said it was eager to hire such workers because of their experience.

"We are now successfully providing services to the NSA with minimal disruption to their current infrastructure," said Tim Sheahan, general manager for the CSC-led team.

NSA has embraced outsourcing of commercial functions as a way to save money that can then be invested in upgrading the agency's mission-critical systems. In recent years, NSA has failed to keep up with the rapidly changing commercial IT market after decades of being an acknowledged leader in the information systems world.

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