Kundra reinstated to federal CIO post

Vivek Kundra has returned to work as the federal chief information officer, a White House source has confirmed.

Kundra, former chief technology officer for Washington, D.C., had been appointed to the post March 5, but took a leave of absence last week, after the FBI arrested a D.C. information security officer and a contractor as part of a bribery investigation.

Kundra had not been suspected of wrongdoing, officials said -- the White House described his leave of absence as a cautionary measure -- and a White House source confirmed to GCN Tuesday evening that Kundra was back on the job. "Mr. Kundra has been informed that he is neither a subject nor a target of the investigation, and has been reinstated," the source said.

The FBI on March 12 arrested Yusuf Acar, an information security specialist who worked for Kundra, and charged him with bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and conflict of interest. The FBI also arrested Sushil Bansal, president and chief executive officer of Advanced Integrated Technologies Corp., on charges of bribery and money laundering. The two allegedly collaborated in a kickback scheme involving city contracts.

Kundra has gained a reputation for technology innovation, particularly with Web 2.0 applications, as the Washington CTO and, before that, as Virginia’s assistant secretary of commerce and technology.

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Reader comments

Thu, Mar 19, 2009 Jenson Daniel

USA federal government needs a technology officer who can oversee crisis driven requirements ranging from military, economic, and social (unemployment) stakeholders. Without appointing an officer immediately the budget, scheduling, and resource allocation processes will break down given the scale and scope of current monetary and fiscal problems. That's the key issue facing USA today. If POTUS has vetted Vivek Kundra and finds no reason to delay putting an intelligent, capable, and innovative leader then that should be sufficient for us as citizens. Just look at the disastrous situation facing our Treasury department. We do not need that same situation in our technology departments. Vivek Kundra's been roasted enough. Put him in the job, let him build his personnel team, vet them thoroughly, and let's get technology business going so that our white collar, IP intensive, highly paid citizens and corporations don't have to face ambiguity or defaults any longer. We're running out of time. We need bodies to do the work. We need to stop killing quality leaders on issues that are worth debating when we don't have to deal with multiple financial, social, and military crisis.

Wed, Mar 18, 2009 Some Cat in DC

Why isn't anyone asking how much time this investigation is going to take? It will definitely pull him away from the eGov tasks at hand in OMB. He's going to be completely consumed by discovery and the trial. Everyone should just move on to the next candidate and not waste even more of our money in paying him to run between the old exec building and the federal courthouse for the next year. Seriously - how effective can he actually be now?

Wed, Mar 18, 2009

"Ah this is Washington" we stop some like the HHS designee and Chief Performance Officer but we let others like the Treasury Secretary, Trade Representative and Federal CIO slide thorugh. Never consistent on anything. Whatever, happened to head of a command takes full responsibility for what happens in that command?

Wed, Mar 18, 2009

I just noticed the March 6th FCW article above "Kundra picks up cybersecurity mantle". Kundra promoted Mr. Acar (not a security specialist) several times and doesn't have any idea what Acar's doing. Kundra: little cybersecurity knowledge, little oversight, no accountability. MARVELOUS!

Wed, Mar 18, 2009

According to press reports, the DC government's expenditures with the alleged perpetrator of the fraud more than doubled in a short period of time, with an increase of several million dollars within an IT program of around $50M. The CIO should have been aware of this and taken action to have that spending increase reviewed

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