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FEMA CIO Adrian Gardner reassigned

Shutterstock image ID: 738923143 Editorial credit: bakdc 

Federal Emergency Management Agency CIO Adrian Gardner has been reassigned, FCW has confirmed.

Gardner, who took over FEMA's IT office in 2013, accepted a new position as the Executive Director of Recovery Communications Technology in the Caribbean Area Division.

Federal News Radio first reported the news.

"In this role, Mr. Gardner will be responsible for coordinating the communication recovery efforts in the Caribbean," FEMA spokesperson Jenny Burke told FCW in an email. "This assignment is intended to address a critical need in the Caribbean, particularly with respect to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico… Mr. Gardner is uniquely qualified to fill this role with his particular expertise and knowledge of the Caribbean. We look forward to his continued service to the Agency and disaster survivors."

Gardner won a Fed 100 award in 2018 for his work directing FEMA's "survivable communications" strategy.

Deputy CIO Patsy Garnett will take over as acting CIO. Her previous government service has included stops at the Federal Student Aid, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The change was announced by FEMA Chief of Staff Eric Heighberger.

Earlier this year, FEMA's inspector general released a scathing management alert alleging that Gardner misled auditors about the agency's IT management.

Specifically, OIG stated it Gardner "assured" them outstanding corrective actions would be included in the deputy CIO's fiscal year 2018 performance plan, but that he later removed the funding and staff resources to handle "competing priorities." Those competing priorities include the series of hurricanes in the second half of 2017.

In response, OIG stated it planned to conduct a "more comprehensive audit of FEMA's IT management approach."

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a former FCW staff writer.

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