TechMiso reported back in early March that the “U.S. Government Needs Visionary CIO Leadership for 21st Century Success.” At the time, it was widely speculated Vivek Kundra was to become the first CIO of the United States of America.
As expected, President Obama announced Kundra’s appointment to CIO on March 5th, 2009. Kundra’s stint as CIO however was cut short as the FBI raided his former offices for evidence related to possible financial misdoings as D.C. CIO. The FBI subsequently cleared Kundra of any implication, thus paving the way for him to work on President’s Obama’s mission impossible.
President Obama said, “Vivek Kundra will bring a depth of experience in the technology arena and a commitment to lowering the cost of government operations to this position.
A lot of buzz surrounds Kundra as America’s first CIO and what progress he will [or will not] make during his tenure. Albeit a stellar Obamanite plan, it seems pooling government IT resources together under one man — for a country with the world’s largest economy — is downright unworkable.
Kundra set for failure?
For Kundra’s position to work, CIOs across America might see their positions abolished. A shocking proposition. Following massive CIO layoffs, states might expect a large portion of their IT budget authority to realign quickly under Kundra’s federal office. Unlikely.
Hence the hype behind President Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” — as he refers to the clear division of authority between federal and state.
Is this wall of separation a problematic obstacle?
The bureaucrats want you to believe so. But if we look at President Obama and how he pulled off nearly $800 billion US dollars in stimulus money, then the Obama/Kundra team could lead states in an effort to realign their CIOs and agency budget authority under Kundra’s offce. For Obama, making this happen should be like walking Bo through the White House gardens.
America needs one country IT czar similar to the way its Commander In Chief sits atop the military. America’s CIO should be someone that brings clear vision of consolidation, cost cutting and forward IT centric thinking.
Kundra may have the prerequisites. But will he be given suitable power?