To ensure delivery, please add to your address book, learn how
       |      Forward to a Friend
If you don't see images, click here to view
Story Ideas  Events 
Tech Bisnow
 Nav Bar
September 23, 2008
Jones Lang LaSalle


Big shout-out to great new sponsor Johns Hopkins University.  Don't miss their upcoming information session for the Master of Arts in Government Program.  Wed., Sept 24, 6:30-7:30pm at the JHU Washington center, 1717 Mass AveRSVP today!


It seems the hardest thing to do in Federal IT these days is finding qualified employees with top level security clearances. We asked our Federal IT power players about it over lunch at McCormick & Schmick’s in Reston. The Mahi Mahi there was lovely to digest; not so the analysis of recruiting hurdles.


That’s Unisys Federal Systems president Greg Baroni, FranklinMorgan CEO Bob Morgan, Fairfax County Economic Development CEO Gerry Gordon, ATS CEO Ed Bersoff, and sponsor Vic Victorino of Sheppard Mullin.

Our Mark Bisnow led the discussion:

Bisnow: What’s the problem with finding employees?
Bob: There’s a big demand for people with clearances, but the delays in acquisition prevent you from hiring them. Plus, with energy prices, a lot of people want to work closer to home and the government is hesitant to do that because of all the classification and security.
Ed: The clearance process is broken and is getting worse and worse. It’s made even harder because civilian agencies are having their own separate clearance processes which can add months. It used to be a DoD issue, but now it’s become government wide.

Ed Bersoff is best known for building and selling BTG to Titan, but by being an active player in acquisition markets (three buys in the past year) and is now at $150 million a year in revenue.

Bisnow: Any solutions you recommend?
Ed: If you did one detailed background investigation whether it’s the DoD or Homeland Security, I would think that background investigation would be adequate for everyone.
Bisnow: Why don’t agencies share?
Greg: There isn’t a good reason.  I mean if somebody comes in with a DoD secret clearance, to deny him access to HUD does not make sense.

Greg Baroni was actually a radio weatherman in California before entering the federal space. Now he heads up Unisys’ Federal systems division with $1.1 billion in revenue and more than 4,000 employees.

Bisnow: And so do you think there’s just bureaucratic confusion, or do you think someone somewhere believes they have a logical reason?
Bob: I think it’s workforce retention.  Each agency wants to be able to maintain their level of workforce to be able to support their organization. 
Greg: But in the same sense you have OMB driving towards lines of business.  One thought would be, why wouldn’t you get a line of business just around this clearance process, have one process for all of government and then execute on it, because this is clearly a chokepoint and every agency and entity that does business with the Government sees it.
Ed: But what you have to do is you have to transfer all those billets from every agency to a single line of business. So now you’re taking education security personnel, transferring those billets out of education to another entity: Homeland Security, DoD. So you’re talking thousands of jobs; yes, it’s power and budget. They have difficulty giving that up.
Vic: I totally agree.  The problem can be solved.  It’s being solved in other areas.  They just need to apply initiatives like those mentioned by Greg being pursued by OMB.


You all know Mayor Fenty, but you should get to know the guy on the right: D.C. Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra, who’s looking to fill some jobs at the annual DC Gov Job Fair at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in NW today. We talked with Vivek yesterday and he tells us he’s looking to fill 50 positions, with some on the spot hiring to continue his work adding technology to D.C. public school classrooms and equipping police cruisers with ToughBooks and officers with web-ready iPhones.

That lovely lady (and wonderful Bisnow sponsor) sitting front and center is Strelmark President Hilary Fordwich, who we recently joined at the The Palm in Tysons for a roundtable on green business practices and sustainability. Hilary’s seven-year-old company is a leader in business development and lead generation for professional service firms. This was not one of her many speaking engagements we always hear about, but an event for her client Touchstone Consulting. Guests included Telework International CEO John Edwards (seated, the family man not the other one), Northern Virginia Roofing CEO John Francis, (left standing), Smith Pachter McWhorter partner Brian Vella, Noblis’ Robert Wasserman, Accelerent’s Steve Abramowitz, Touchstone Chief Sustainability Officer Donald Thomas, Consumer Electronics Association SVP Doug Johnson, Ezra Company president Glenn Meltzer, Office Products EVP Geary FitzPatrick, financial adviser Richard Burtner, CRD Analytics CEO Max Carey Jr., and Strelmark’s Rebel Holiday.

Send grammatically correct story ideas to

Advertise with Bisnow

This newsletter is a journalistic news source which accepts no payment for featured interviews. It is supported by conventional advertisers clearly identified in the right hand column. You have been selected to receive it either through prior contact or professional association. If you have received it in error, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe below. ? 2008, Bisnow on Business, Inc., 1323 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036. All rights reserved.

DC Real Estate Legal Bisnow Women Bisnow Association Bisnow NYC Real Estate Zegna Adrian Jules Dormeuil email