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Vivek Kundra Quits As Federal CIO 90

Posted by timothy
from the depart-for-cooler-climes dept.
CWmike writes "The first person ever appointed as the CIO of the federal government, Vivek Kundra, is resigning after two and a half years on the job, the White House said Thursday. There was no hint in the announcement made by Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, that Kundra's exit was prompted by a shift in the White House's view on IT. Lew, who praised the CIO's work, said Kundra was leaving to take a fellowship at Harvard. Kundra was appointed CIO a few months after President Barack Obama took office. He immediately outlined an agenda that emphasized cloud adoption, use of consumer technologies, and making data available to the public on new sites, such as data.gov. He was critical of big IT contracts that moved too slowly and were at risk of failing."
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Vivek Kundra Quits As Federal CIO

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  • by Eol1 (208982) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @07:05PM (#36469284) Homepage Journal

    The only surprise here is he lasted so long. The Federal CIO has zero authority hence it's a thankless exercise in futility. Under both FISMA and CCA all IT authority is with the Agency Head, OMB Director, and NIST. The Mr. Kundra had no authority, no control, no budget, no nothing my guess is the only reason he took the job was he was a former private sector employee and most likely had buyers regret within the week. No sane civil servant would take this position short of as a temp position to a backroom deal which ended with a lateral transfer promotion somewhere else or a high three with the expectation of doing nothing and accomplishing nothing (the only realistic goal under the existing legal/regulatory framework which governs that position) .

  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @07:46PM (#36469602) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, let's all laugh at him and his comfortable six-figure salary "idiocy" while we scrape to make rent, and eek out a half decent living. We're better than him!

    If you're paying the bills and eeking out a living, you're living the Dream! At least according to Obama [whitehouse.gov]. If you're not paying the bills, maybe you can get a special degree (or is it a "badge"?) so you can work in a factory. Living the Dream!!

  • Re:Skip Logic Rocks! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Global-Lightning (166494) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:00PM (#36470230)

    Over the last two years I've had the opportunity to work with him and his staff. Some personal observations:
    1. No, he didn't understand technology. He understood marketing. Indeed there where times when he would remind me of Frank Abagnale Jr impersonating a doctor or lawyer. When the discussion would turn technical he would get this deer-in-the-headlights expression. Perhaps most troubling was his lack of even a basic understanding of IT security concepts; as the Federal CIO you would have at least expected someone who would try to understand the legal obligations involved.
    2. He couldn't take criticism. When government reps raised security issues with his cloud plan, he would turn to his industry reps who would reassure him everything would be OK. He surrounded himself with yes-men, creating an echo chamber where anything that would contradict his 'brilliant' ideas would be promptly excised.
    3. Outside OMB, he had no support in the federal government. Federal CIOs treated him respectfully, but they knew he had no legal or fiscal authority for any of his plans; most decided to play along and wait for his term to expire. His relationship with Congress was even worst; the Hill would usually outright ignore him.

    I already know of several Federal CIOs who are now revising thier 2012 budgets to write out Kundra's pet programs. His legacy would go past this October.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday June 17, 2011 @03:47AM (#36471990)

    What you remember was the typical character assassination hatchet jobs. They make headlines like "Is Kundra a fraud?", and you remember "Kundra, fraud".

    Of course, you were probably predisposed to hate him. The fact that you would write something like "Obama was obeying India" shows that you have no understanding of the world outside the poison Fox and Friends pours into your mind.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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