Right now, many agencies outsource their most vital IT functions to contractors. These contractors code programs but do not give Federal employees access to the coding. (In some cases, they don't even grant them access to query tools, thus monopolizing even the query process.) In effect, the contractor is holding the agency's information hostage for a continuing fee. In addition to being expensive, this is dangerous; if the contractor goes out of business, the agency has no reasonable way to retrieve its data. Instead, all vital IT functions (i.e., operations and maintenance) should be performed by Federal employees; if that is not possible, all contractors should be required to grant the proper Federal employees with unfettered access their work products. Finally, every Federal user group should require access to contractor-created queries and the coding of all work-products as part of all operations and maintenance contracts.
Idea No. 4112