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Is U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra a cooked goose?

Update: 4/6/09 According to a report in the Washington Post:

"Acar reported directly to Kundra because of the sensitivity of the security division. Acar and his staff of about 15 worked in a locked room, the employees said. Kundra's signature appears on many consultant work orders produced by Acar, according to copies of the orders obtained by The Post."

It appears that new U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra will not be held accountable for the criminal actions of an employee directly under his supervision.


Is it the smell of a cooked goose that's wafting throughout the corridors of the White House via the office of its Chief Information Officer - Vivek Kundra? Yours truly believes that it is indeed the smell of a cooked goose, after all, the White House has placed Kundra on leave "until further details become known" about the investigation involving the Washington, D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), the post held by Kundra from 2007 until appointed to the CIO job on March 5. The below screenshot of the embarrassing (at least to me) press release from the White House announced (second sentence) with much fanfare that Vivek Kundra would be responsible for the: Oversight of federal technology spending

Embarrassingly in the eyes of yours truly, Vivek Kundra sold to President Obama and the American taxpayer the "idea and personal image" that he was both a "pit bull" when it came to guarding as well as a "visionary" when it came to wisely spending taxpayer money. For example, the below quotes appeared in a glowing Jan. 5, 2009 Washington Post article extolling the money spending accountability and watchdog skills of Kundra:

In his first meeting of a recent day, Vivek Kundra stood in front of a large monitor, grilling employees about the status of projects to revamp technology in Washington's schools, police cars, jails and health clinics. Kundra, the chief technology officer for the District, begins most of his days this way to keep close tabs on his department's progress. Looking at a pie chart on the screen, he questioned how $39,000 of the budget was spent to rewire the health department's network. The money was used to reconfigure the network's Internet addresses, a project manager told him. "Why would that take $40,000?" he snapped. "This project seems like a sham right now. We need to take the happiness level down for this one." The "happiness level," a measure of a project's success, is just one of the tools Kundra, 34, has developed in his quest to improve the way the District's 86 agencies use technology.

Contrary to his highly polished and and very much publicized image of protecting taxpayer money, Kundra appears to have allowed those who directly reported to him a "happiness level" that spawned more than a few shams. According to a report in the DC Examiner yesterday:

Yusuf Acar, the technology manager facing allegations of fraud, was consistently promoted by his boss, Vivek Kundra, receiving with each move increasing authority over sensitive information and operating with little supervision, according to government sources familiar with activities inside the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, or OCTO. "Vivek promoted the guy three times in the last year," said one of at least five knowledgeable government and business sources who, like the others I spoke with, requested anonymity, citing ongoing investigations. "[Acar] was God," another government source said, noting the tech security shop was "small" and "secretive," monitoring "every keystroke, every tech message, e-mail." "It’s not just the bribery charge but also the fact that the entire system is vulnerable that’s what worries me," the source added.

Furthermore, according to another Network World report, the DC government appears to be facing a "huge mess" over potential security issues:

Security analysts warn that Acar and his alleged accomplices could have created backdoors into systems. And since the alleged scheme included misdoings on a purchase of security software, there may be questions about the quality of the district's security tools. From an IT security standpoint, municipal officials in Washington have a nightmare on their hands, said Johannes Ullrich, chief technology officer at the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center in Bethesda, Md.

Clearly in the opinion of yours truly, Vivek Kundra is not the man he sold himself as being to both President Obama and the American taxpayer. President Obama needs to hold Kundra responsible and accountable for the actions of employees that were under Kundra's direct supervision and guidance. Anything less, and President Obama severely risks tarnishing his goodwill with the American taxpayer. Related stories: Is theft a family tradition of U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra? Cisco CCNA - Yusuf Acar busted by FBI as perp in federal bribery sting


What's your opinion, is U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra a cooked goose? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished Contact: Brad Reese Twitter: http://twitter.com/BradReese Call Toll Free 866-864-0506 or International 850-364-4115

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