New Louisiana CIO out already
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Jun 28, 2001
Just four months after he became Louisiana's first chief information officer
and a week after he was confirmed by the state Senate, James DuBos resigned
June 15 amid talk of impropriety involving a company he formerly worked
for, a state official said.
"He kept running or bumping up against speculation about his past association
with his private companies," said Sarah Kracke, deputy commissioner with
the state Division of Administration, which oversees the Office of Information
Technology (www.state.la.us/oit) that was headed
by the 34-year-old DuBos.
Problems started when the state Department of Social Services (DSS) awarded
a contract to Exodus Communications Inc., an Internet hosting and management
services company. DuBos was a former managing director for Exodus Professional
Services, which in 1999 had purchased a company, Cohesive Technology Solutions
Inc., which two years earlier had bought R&D Networking Inc., a company
DuBos founded, Kracke said.
She said a lobbyist for a competing firm, Irvine, Calif.-based TekInsight,
which lost the DSS contract, "basically tried to incite lawmakers that there
was some impropriety action on the part of Jim."
"They were hinting at impropriety on Jim's behalf," Kracke said. "There
was absolutely none."
In fact, she said, DuBos was asked by TekInsight's lobbyist to intervene
in the process when the company lost the award. She said DuBos declined
to be involved, saying he could not and would not manipulate the technology
"They were trying to insinuate something was going on," she said. "And he
just felt as if though this was going to be a constant barrier...to make
progress. He felt as though this was going to be a hindrance."
In an e-mail statement sent by TekInsight spokeswoman Linda Wise, the company
said it supported the appointment of DuBos "based on his impressive credentials
and extensive experience. It stated that company officials were "surprised
and puzzled" when the company lost the contract.
"TekInsight consistently provides high service levels and competitive pricing,
and our customers at the Department of Social Services were very satisfied
with our service and pricing," the statement continued. "Despite repeated
requests, our company was denied access to the decision process and has
been offered no explanation for the contract award. The company believes
that certain state procurement rules and procedures designed to ensure fair
and open competition were not followed during this process. Consequently,
TekInsight filed an injunction in order to gain further clarification."
Steve Mayer, director of the DSS general counsel bureau, confirmed that
TekInsight filed an injunction with the 19th Judicial District Court in
Baton Rouge, although he said he wasn't clear what the requested remedy
was in the injunction.
DuBos' resignation, Kracke said, shocked people in her office and members
of Gov. Mike Foster's administration, who apparently tried to talk him out
of it. She called DuBos a "super, super guy absolutely right for the job."
In a previous interview, DuBos, a native of Louisiana, said he accepted
the CIO position, created through a 1998 executive order, because he wanted
to give something back to his community.
No acting CIO has been named yet, Kracke said.