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U.S. Weighs Tech Fixes After Health-Site Woes

Wall Street Journal (01/03/14) Gautham Nagesh

The Obama administration could ease hiring rules for technology specialists and establish a new federal unit dealing with large tech projects. The glitches in the rollout brought to light the lack of concentrated talent in federal agencies to manage such projects, and steps to be announced by President Obama during this quarter aim to address that shortcoming.

Some of the options under consideration would reverse the innovation-fellows program so that government technology specialists rotate through private-sector companies or expand the direct hiring authority of federal agencies so they can hire on their own. However, there are concerns that the federal government is unable to attract younger workers with more current skills and that federal pay freezes and furloughs make it harder to persuade tech specialists to leave the higher pay and stock options offered by Wall Street and Silicon Valley.