Volume 18, Number 11 -- March 16, 2009

Washington D.C. IT Kickback Scandal Sidelines New Federal CIO

Published: March 16, 2009

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Well, Vivek Kundra, the new Federal chief information officer for the Obama administration and the first executive to hold the newly created post, didn't spend enough time in his new office to get his chair warm.

According to a report in the Washington Post on Saturday, Kundra, who was hired on March 5 to the Fed CIO position after being CIO for the Washington, D.C. city government, has been placed on "administrative leave pending the outcome of the federal investigation" into a bribery scandal in the D.C. offices and implicating employees of the city's tech agency, who worked for Kundra, into taking kickbacks and circumventing procedures set up by Kundra to make sure IT contracts are awarded fairly and squarely.

On Thursday last week, Yusuf Acar of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia was arrested for allegedly solicited and accepted bribes in exchange for doling out IT deals to contractors. Sushil Bansal, the president and chief executive officer at Advanced Integrated Technologies, has been arrested as well under suspicion of committing bribery and money laundering.

Whatever visions of Googling-up the government that Kundra has in mind are going to have to wait, it seems. Kundra has not been suspected of any wrongdoing, according to the Post, and Acar and Bansal have reportedly been under investigation for over a year and that investigation was a secret until the Feds did their raids last Thursday.

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