Commerce CIO to leave

The CIO revolving door continues. Roger Baker, chief information officer at the Commerce Department, resigned from his position earlier this week.

Baker, who has been CIO at Commerce for nearly three years, said he has no definite plans but is considering heading back to the private sector or taking the summer off.

Baker said he has also informed the CIO Council of his decision. He has been co-chairman of the council's Security, Privacy and Critical Infrastructure Committee.

Before entering government in the fall of 1998, Baker was an e-commerce analyst at Meta Group Inc. for five months. Before that, he served as a vice president at Visa International Service Association, where he was responsible for the creation and operation of the Visa Online Banking system.

Baker said his decision to leave is related to the change in administration. "They should have the opportunity to select the person they want in this role," he said. "For this role to be successful," the Commerce secretary should choose the CIO. Baker said his last day officially is May 14.

As in some other departments, the Commerce CIO is a career position. However, Baker said he believes that the CIO should be a political appointee to give that person more influence over the budget and information technology-related operating decisions.

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