Commerce creates separate CIO organization

Roger Baker, who will become the first chief information officer at the Commerce
Department, says that by selecting him, the senior management has indicated its intent to
embrace electronic commerce.


“I believe my hiring shows the commitment of Secretary William Daley and Commerce
to be a fully active participant in the electronic commerce age,” he said.


As the Veterans Affairs Department recently opted to do, Commerce has decided to pull
information technology work out from under the aegis of its chief financial officer [GCN, July 20, Page 74].


Alan P. Balutis, deputy CIO and the director of the Office of Budget, Management and
Information, has been overseeing day-to-day systems operations and policy for Commerce.
But the ultimate CIO authority fell to W. Scott Gould, CFO and assistant secretary for
administration.


Now Baker will be senior systems boss for Commerce. Balutis will continue as director
of budget, management and information, but a Commerce official said it’s unclear
whether he will be the deputy CIO.


Although Commerce has made the CIO post an independent position, senior department
managers have not finalized plans for the new CIO organization, said Deborah Jefferson,
the department’s program manager for Senior Executive Service and political
appointments.


Before taking the CIO job, Baker was vice president of marketing and product
development for Visa International’s Interactive subsidiary in Herndon, Va., where he
helped build an online banking system for Visa’s member banks.


Baker also was an electronic commerce consultant at MetaGroup Inc. of Reston, Va. As
vice president of EC research at MetaGroup, he helped the company’s 2,000 IT clients
move money on the Internet.


Baker said it’s premature to speculate about his plans at Commerce.


“I’m very appreciative to be chosen CIO at Commerce,” Baker said.
“I’m so excited to get going.”


Baker, 41, attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor’s
degree in computer science and a master’s in business.

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