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Report: Gov’t Needs Fresh Tech Talent, Tech-Literate Leadership

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A new report published by the non-profit organization Partnership for Public Service has criticized the federal government for failing to exert enough effort to recruit or cultivate technological talent that could help change the way agencies approach tech-intensive projects and address subsequent challenges.

The authors of the report, Jennifer Anastasoff and Jennifer Smith, emphasized not only the need to bring on board modern technical experts but also to place them in positions that would maximize their involvement in a project.

On the other hand, senior government officials need to be technologically literate as well, Anastasoff and Smith said, noting that “[familiarity] with and appreciation for modern technology in top leadership positions is so critical for success that such expertise should be no more than one step removed from an agency’s leader.”

The authors also underscored the role of chief information officers, who need to be “highly skilled technological managers who can successfully handle existing technical operations, infrastructure and services.”

The availability of such talent would benefit programs run by the government and those offloaded onto contractors.

“Without these skills, agencies will not have the expertise to fully understand the solutions they need or evaluate which contractors are best to deliver those solutions,” the authors said.