Another Massachusetts CIO bites the dust (that's two down in a year)

Another Massachusetts CIO bites the dust (that's two down in a year)

Summary: News.com's Martin Lamonica: The chief information officer of Massachusetts is stepping down, complaining about a lack of funding for the commonwealth's technology initiatives.

SHARE:
TOPICS: CXO
6

News.com's Martin Lamonica:

The chief information officer of Massachusetts is stepping down, complaining about a lack of funding for the commonwealth's technology initiatives.

Louis Gutierrez on Tuesday sent his letter of resignation to the state's secretary of administration and finance, Thomas Trimarco. The letter blasts the state for halting spending on ongoing projects.

"I'm presiding over the dismantling of an IT investment program--over a decade in the evolution--that the legislature leadership appears unwilling to salvage at this time," Gutierrez wrote.

His departure, effective in 30 days, will not derail the state's policy of adopting OpenDocument as the state's default document format, said Felix Browne, a spokesman for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

I can't help but wonder if there's more (politically speaking) to this story than meets the eye. Just because Romney's office is pushing forward with the decision to go with the OpenDocument Format for the storage and retrieval of productivity software-related documents doesn't mean that politicians don't have other ways of derailing such plans. Gutierrez, as many people know, will be the second Massachusetts CIO to resign from the clearly embattled post in a year. Last December, Peter Quinn stepped down from the job saying "It is readily apparent that I have become a lightning rod with regard to any IT initiative. Even the smallest initiatives are being mitigated or stopped by some of the most unlikely and often uninformed parties."

Mitigated? Stopped? Halted? Same language. Different guy. That's all. If the Commonweath of Massashusetts really wanted these initiatives to succeed, none of this would be happening. 

So far, there's no comment from some of the more outspoken members of the OpenDocument community yet. If some shows up, I'll update this post with the links.

Topic: CXO

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Constituencies

    Keep in mind that there's a lot more going on than the ODF tempest-in-a-teapot. The CIO's office has been trying to actually pull together a IT structure for the Administrative branch, and that's stepping on a lot of toes.

    Up to now, every office has been run as its own Balkanized fiefdom, and that's given the heads of those offices a lot of power (not to mention budget.) Pulling the IT functions into the CIO's office represents a threat to those little fiefdoms, and you can expect the lords to fight back.

    Since they do, theoreticaly, work for the Governor, they can't fight back directly. However, they [b]can[/b] work the system, and they have enough power between them that the Legislature listens to them.

    Byzantium on the Charles.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Federal Government

    Hopefully, this won't dissuade the Federal government from using open source standards, like we're promoting at the DC PHP Conference. Several departments here in DC have begun to green-light open source, but there is still a lot of work to be done before its use is wide spread. States like Massachusetts would be a good model if they can get their initiatives pushed through the proper channels.
    jlleblanc
  • journalism going down the tubes

    "Just because Romney's office is pushing forward with the decision to go with the OpenDocument Format for the storage and retrieval of productivity software-related documents doesn't mean that politicians don't have other ways of derailing such plans"

    Do you have some evidence to back it up or you just blowing hot air.
    zzz1234567890
    • Do you have some evidence to back it up or you just blowing hot air.

      The cited reason was the the Legislature was witholding funds for ongoing projects. Plural.

      Any connection with the rather narrow perspectives you see here is at best speculative.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • RE: Hot air

        I wouldn't call it hot air, but Yagotta is correct that I'm speculating which is why I used the phrase "I can't help but wonder." Why was I wondering? If you had been at the hearings and seen what I've seen on this issue, you'd be a little jaded too (at the hurdles certain opponents seemed willing to clear, or the FUD they've been willing to publicly stage) in order to derail this plan.

        It is ultimately why I pointed out how, if MA politicians really wanted this, they could have had it (that is NOT speculative).

        db
        dberlind
  • It ain't ODF

    the guys on beacon hill for the most part don't even know what Open Document Format is. The problem is that the legislature went on Recess without approving a 2.1 billion dollar bond bill. IT guys had to be laid off mid project in healthcare, among other depts.
    http://www.massnews.com/2006_editions/8_august/80806_democratic_leaders_have_setback_to_healthcare.htm
    francke