28 March 2010
The Security Service is launching an unprecedented round of redundancies
to improve the overall level of computer skills among its staff.
Despite an expanding budget, MI5 is laying off employees in order to
hire new intelligence officers and support staff with better command of
information technology and other "deployable" skills.
The redundancy programme has set tongues wagging in Whitehall, with
civil servants in other departments joking about a "James Bond
generation" of elderly spies being put out to pasture because they can't
use the internet and don't understand the world of Twitter or Facebook.
The plan was disclosed by Jonathan Evans, the director-general of MI5.
He told a Parliamentary committee that he is concerned that his agency's
overall IT skills are not up to scratch, leading him to get rid of some
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