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An American who worked at the same intelligence contractor as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been charged with the theft of classified documents. Harold Martin, 51, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was arrested in late August after the FBI raided his house and storage shed, allegedly finding a number of top secret documents he …
Two "leaks", thefts, or whatever one wants to call them depending on political leaning from the same contracting company. I can understand once, but now twice? I think Booz Allen Hamilton should be removed as a contractor as there is something seriously wrong with their vetting procedures.
Why should Booz Allen be removed as a defense contractor? While they may have hired him, it is the government (not BAH) who provides security clearances. It's only BAH's responsibility to ensure an employee is qualified for clearances. On top of this, once hired and put to work, a government representative, along with a government security manager verifies an individuals clearance and is responsible for reading them into particular programs (if appropriate).
To say Booz Allen is responsible is ignorant.
The coincidence is BAH is often contracted to find the cyber professionals to put in very sensitive positions. If you want to blame anyone, blame the current White House administration... who, instead of providing proper training to military and civilian cyber professionals, would rather pay substantially more for a contractor to find people. This is the real problem; because even after they're hired... they aren't provided with training to upgrade and maintain certifications, get the latest training, etc.
..and finally, because contracted work isn't permanent, and the pay isn't comparable to the same commercial positions, the best cyber professionals stay far away from contracted government work, because they can get paid 2 to 3 times more and have permanent employment working for a commercial company.
So again, blame the Obama administration. While they have published and updated a lot of cyber security regulations, etc. They don't provide the country with the best professionals available.
@Aodhhan, got my downvote!
You are right, it is the government's fault that they hire subcontractors, however, they have for decades, not just under Obama, under braindead father and braindead son as well, same for any president between the two.
The thing is, it is more expensive than hiring direct because you feed a sub contractor and employer ... which means that the administration has some kind of incentive to give sub contractor + employer tax money, not sure what that may be ....
Have an upvote for general correctness. However, I will make a few additional observations.
Federal government agencies like NSA are constrained by both staffing limits and general schedule compensation limits. The first may keep them from hiring enough people to accomplish their mission, and the second may reduce their ability to hire enough people in technical specialties that are especially well compensated in the private sector. It is very likely that both of these constraints bear on the NSA, as well as some other agencies; the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency seems likely to be another example.
This situation is not the fault of the Obama administration alone. The Congress, in its sometimes misguided effort to (appear to) reduce the size of the federal government, is fully complicit. Furthermore, it certainly extends at least two administrations back, to the Clinton administration, and probably back further to that of Reagan. Democrats and Republicans are about equally culpable.
The solution is, and always has been, to increase appropriations without increasing staffing limits, ignoring the fact that, as another poster noted, that it increases the cost of federal government operations quite substantially. As this post notes, it also allows agencies to hire people to critical positions at rates above what the general schedule will allow. According to his claims, Edward Snowden was paid far more than the GS-12 or 13 rate that would be the range for his job, based on his known CV. More often, however, contractor employees receive less, and sometimes much less, than the GS rate for their positions. The contractor firm bills substantially more than they pay the employee (they are in business to make money, and actually incur expenses for management, payroll, and sometimes fringe benefits). It is not uncommon for them to bill more than the fully burdened cost of a civil service employee in a position.
I've worked on both sides. As a manager, I found the ease of filling vacancies under an existing contract extremely helpful, but the low rate paid in some cases was quite distasteful, and I encouraged contractor employees to apply for civil service vacancies that came up. The contractor employees we got, though, were as good on average as the civil servants. Later, as a contractor employee (under the same contract) I was paid on a par with my civil service counterparts. My employer was a subcontractor to the primary, whose contract limited them to a rate that may well not have allowed both them and my employer a profit. That probably did not bother either of them, as they supplied quite a few others at lower rates and could make their contracts profitable as a whole.
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