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[] NSA versucht Frührente,
November 30, 2001 

NSA pruning its workforce with early retirement deals 

By Tanya N. Ballard
tballard -!
- govexec -

The National Security Agency began offering early retirement packages to
most of its employees and buyouts to employees with specific skills last
week in an effort to streamline its workforce. 

According to an agency representative, several voluntary separation
programs will run through June 2002. Buyouts of up to $25,000 will be
offered to some employees in the Human Resources Services and
Installations and Logistics departments, depending upon their length of

The incentives begin just as Project Groundbreaker, an outsourcing deal
struck earlier this year, takes effect.  Under the Project Groundbreaker
contract, 750 NSA technology specialists will become NSA contractors
with Computer Sciences Corp., doing the same work for the same salary.
Unions criticized the contract because it was awarded without
public-private competition. 

Agency officials attribute the recent wave of downsizing initiatives to
imbalances in skills, which require the agency to better ?align the
skills mix within the agency,? according to an NSA representative. 

?NSA?s manpower management initiatives are designed to help us focus
directly on the core missions of providing foreign signals intelligence
and protecting national security-related information systems,? the
representative said. 

Agency officials said that layoffs would be used only as a last resort. 

?Our strategy also includes offering retirement planning seminars for
career transition workshops, and networking with other agencies and
private industry for outside employment options,? agency officials wrote
in a statement. Agency officials also plan to host job and career fairs
for affected employees. 

Earlier this year the agency hosted its first-ever job fair, seeking to
recruit people with experience or education in computer science,
mathematics, engineering, signal analysis, language, data collection,
?cryptanalysis? (the practice of breaking secret codes) and intelligence

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