In Federal Agencies, the IT leads are generally government employees. However, the actual IT work is largely contracted out to industry. Google "IT Service Companies Washington DC area," and, for me it returns, "About 219,000,000 results (0.66 seconds)." This model applies pretty much across the board at the Federal, State and Local level. There are a few exceptions, for example in certain OCONUS enclaves, such as expeditionary/military. Some contractors deliver outstanding service. Some mediocre. A few perform outright incompetently, at least for the time period between re-competition RFP's, excluding those fired outright for gross incompetence. I'm sure there's a distribution curve for IT service competence, like everything else. All humans are flawed. Life becomes harder the more flawed one is in areas that count...like on the job.