The cynic in me wants to laugh, but
is just sad:
The National Security Agency is facing
significant budget shortfalls as the spy agency scrambles to respond
to a mounting electricity crisis, modernize its technology, maintain
current operations and add workspace, congressional and
intelligence officials say.
As a result, they say, the NSA has
slowed hiring, pared back upgrades in information technology, delayed
equipment purchases and shut offices.
Worth a full read.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it
again: planning beyond lunch is a skill that escapes most IC
“managers.” NSA is highlighted in this article, but you could
find similar stories from every agency. When they’re fighting for
their fiefdoms they forget about things like the laws of physics and
the reality of the world outside the SCIF. Massive hiring surge
without a corresponding increase in office space. Can you say “hot
desk?” I mean, they’re lowering the thermostat. I’m waiting for the
report about how they’re asking employees to bring in their own
coffee beans and condiments because they have to scale back the food
service contract. An IT heavy agency can’t afford to pay for
top-notch tech support and they’re running out of power and this
is a surprise?!
That they can’t keep audit-able books
is a major part of the problem. Forget internal manager panels
evaluating budget proposals; it is time clean house and get
legit. Not doing so will only ensure that these same issues will
continue to raise their heads again and again. You’re going to trust a new budget system developed by the same people who have an
interest in keeping it screwed up?
Also time to dump old portfolios and
lesser includeds. Scrub programs for duplication – of which there is a disturbing amount – and watch the savings add up. Hard decisions? One of the many “top priority”
projects has to fall away. Can’t risk missing something? You’re
missing plenty NOW. You have that CSS for a reason, let them carry a
Finally, as the article mentions, pack
up what you can and send it away. Take a lesson from Google and park
yourself next to a hydroelectric dam. Hawaii, Germany, UK,
Washington, Texas, etc. would all welcome a boost in Congressional
funding and a larger tax base. You’re not just mitigating current
problems, you’re boosting long term survivability and resilience.