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CIO Baitman is bolting HHS

Outgoing HHS CIO Frank Baitman

Frank Baitman, the CIO of the Department of Health and Human Services, is stepping down in November, FCW has confirmed.

Baitman was at the top of the IT organization during the botched launch of Healthcare.gov. His emails to colleagues inside and outside the department, released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, revealed his frustration with his lack of visibility into the IT acquisition and contract management activities of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is at least notionally a component of HHS.

"Frankly, it's worse than I imagined!" Baitman wrote in a Sept. 27, 2013 email to Bryan Sivak, then the agency CTO.

The factionalism and federation among senior IT officials in the wake of the HealthCare.gov debacle was one of the primary drivers of the passage of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act.

During his tenure, Baitman tried to put the federated agency on a more enterprise-based footing. He moved HHS to Microsoft cloud for email and consolidated the agency's six systems. He also brought Amazon Web Services in the door through the complicated FedRAMP authorization process, and presided over a range of innovative and agile moves at HHS. The agency launched a Buyer's Club, for example, to leverage intra-agency expertise and knowledge of acquisition rules to streamline procurement.

Before joining HHS, Baitman was CIO of the Social Security Administration. He earned Fed 100 honors in 2011 at that agency, for helping to make government services more accessible to people with disabilities, and for taking a lead role in SSA's call center modernization.

News of Baitman's impending departure was first reported by FedScoop.

About the Authors

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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