After weeks of public calls for transparency, a Northeast Utilities executive confirmed Tuesday that the utility is partly outsourcing the work of its information technology department, which employs about 280 in Connecticut.
David McHale, the company’s chief administration officer, said in an interview the decision will impact half of the utility’s 400 IT employees in New England. It was unclear how many of those are in Connecticut.
“Like we do today but on a larger scale, we will team with other IT firms,” McHale said. “They will transition over the next six to seven months.”
McHale said the two firms were Infosys and Tata Consulting Services, both large IT companies based in India. About 60 percent of the outsourced work will remain in Connecticut, he said, with about 40 NU employees “rebadged” or rehired by the two companies.
The move more closely aligns NU’s approach to IT with that of the Massachusetts utility, NStar, that it merged with last year. About 70 percent of the company’s IT workforce is based in Connecticut, 25 percent in Massachusetts and 5 percent in New Hampshire.
Benefits for the company include having a highly specialized technology force “to have someone who is providing services across the globe, and telling us where the trends are going and helping us innovate,” McHale said.
In recent weeks, state officials and lawmakers have requested more information in private meetings and public press conferences about reports that the utility is outsourcing the work. The state’s attorney general and consumer counsel asked regulators to review whether the potential outsourcing would comply with the company’s merger agreement and whether the decision would affect its ability to respond to storm outages.
The electric and gas utility — whose divisions include Yankee Gas and Connecticut Light & Power — acknowledged early last month that it was looking into “streamlining” the department, but it would not say whether outsourcing was being considered and would not answer questions about the potential move’s effect on employees.
By Brian Dowling, Hartford Courant