CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority announced it will eliminate up to 120 jobs in its information technology office in an effort to cut cost s and improve performance.

The agency said Tuesday that it would outsource about 1 of every 5 jobs in its IT department starting in the spring, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

The move would a ffect employees at the agency’s computer center in the Chattanooga Office Complex and would trim more than $6 million from the local payroll.

The agency has developed and written all of its software for nearly four decades, the newspaper quoted vice president and chief information officer Jeremy Fisher as saying. He said most utilities and corporations that aren’t technology based generally rely on outside contractors now instead of writing their own software.

“It was time to reflect the mirror on IT and see how we could be better,” Fisher said. “The demand for technology has never been higher, but there is a natural constraint on that if you are trying to do everything in-house and on your own. ”

Among the 500 employees in the agency’s IT division, more than 20% are expected to receive layoff notices in the spring quarter starting in April. Worker s who don’t stay with TVA in a different division will receive severance pay. Fisher said the agency will provide outplacement assistance.

The agency’s employment peaked at more than 52,000 employees in 1981. Since then, its workforce has shrunk to about 10,000 employees, the Free Press reported.