Page Two

By eweek  |  Posted 2003-03-24 Print this article Print

: Outsourcing Debate"> eWEEK: How much of a security risk is posed by the act of sending sensitive consumer or business information overseas?

Turner: When [overseas companies are] dealing with welfare clients, those clients whole life history and financial information is available to the people who are making those phone calls [from overseas call centers]. From what Ive been told by people whove contacted me, there are situations where theyve had phone calls made by credit card companies that were being made offshore. They were concerned about [those companies] having financial information available to them. They thought it was something this government should be concerned about, what with all the acts of terrorism.

eWEEK: Whos writing to you?

Turner: People whove been laid off because of people coming in on these special visas. Those people in the computer area whove been laid off because their jobs were outsourced to foreign countries—China, Russia, India, the Philippines.

Its unbelievable. Ive never gotten so much e-mail on any one issue. I had no idea what I was doing when I introduced that bill. It was so narrow in terms of what I was trying to do. Now some people want it to be a panacea for other issues associated with this. Others are more realistic—they see it as a step in the right direction.

eWEEK: Isnt this protectionism?

Turner: Youre right—it is protectionism. Im protecting jobs in this country. Our economy is in a recession. We have a deficit, just like any other state. The reason is, we dont have people working and paying taxes. And those people are the ones who need the jobs. They have families to support.

Lowdown on the New Jersey bill …

  • What it is Bill No. 1349, introduced to the N.J. Senate and General Assembly on March 21, 2002, is intended to ensure that state funds are used to employ people residing in the United States and to prevent the loss of jobs to foreign countries.
  • Status The bill was scheduled to be heard in the State Government Committee March 6, 2003. However, industry lobbyists prevailed upon Chairman Al Steele, who deferred the bills hearing until after its sponsor, Turner, heard arguments put forward by the bills opponents.
  • What opponents proposed An amendment stating that exceptions to the original bill be justified by cost savings to the state of New Jersey or improved quality of services.
  • Whats next Turner said she will continue lobbying to get the bill heard.
  • Ripple effect Legislation to study methods of increasing efficiency in the procurement process, including outsourcing, has been introduced in Maryland. Connecticut is considering legislation to ensure that outsourced work doesnt go overseas. Missouri and Wisconsin are considering similar legislation.


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