Why Massachusetts' Peter Quinn quit

Groklaw has an interview with Peter Quinn, the former CIO of Mass., who led the effort to adopt ODF and cut Microsoft Office.
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor

In this interview with Peter Quinn, the former CIO of Mass., who led the effort to adopt ODF and cut Microsoft Office, Groklaw asks what forced him out and what Microsoft had to do with it. Here's the top of the interview:


PJ: What was the last straw that made you quit?

Quinn: The word that the IT Bond Bill would not be reported out as part of the total bond package (so Highway and Building Construction funds would be available but not IT funding). And the word was it was all about me.

Now the folks that have say here do not know me from a hole in the wall and the funds were for projects that were totally unrelated to ITD. I clearly had set the priorities for the Bond but this funding is for projects like a new Taxpayers System, new Registry of Motor Vehicles system, etc., all projects desperately needed by the citizens of the Commonwealth. Eric Kriss and I always had a goal of making IT "a"political and now it was rapidily becoming a political football of the highest magnitude.

I took this job in the hopes of making meaningful and institutionalized IT reform. All the previous efforts were about to be for naught as political payback. IT would and will grind to a halt if IT longterm funding is not released and if the Legislation that guts the Office of the CIO is passed. This was not a prospect that I wanted to facilitate by my presence.

If I am gone, I am sure much of the gamesmanship will subside. There are many very good people doing very good work that would be marginalized (my opinion) by my continued tenure. And to be brutally frank, the instigators of much of this legislation are represented by the true bottom feeders in the Legislature, in my view. To have to bow and genuflect to their likes is not something I could ever do. I do hope rationale voices will prevail (and I believe that will be the case).

PJ: Do you know who inspired the Globe to do the investigation? Was it Pacheco?

Quinn: Almost to a person, to anybody involved or who knows about the ODF issue, they attributed the story to Microsoft, right, wrong or otherwise. Senator Pacheco may be a bully but I do not believe he is disingenuous and would stoop to such a tactic. Senator Pacheco and Secretary Galvin's office remain very heavily influenced by the Microsoft money and its lobbyist machine, as witnessed by their playbook and words, in my opinion.

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