Baker to CIOs: You need to be an appointee

Baker to CIOs: You need to be an appointee

Unless you are politically appointed, you don't stand much chance of being effective as a chief information officer, at least at the cabinet department level. So says Roger Baker, the Commerce Department's outgoing CIO.

Speaking to the Bethesda, Md., Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association earlier this month, Baker said government CIOs are responsible for critical networks and billion-dollar systems expenditures but have little real control.

'You have a system designed to fight change, yet you are there to make change,' he said, 'and all this for a maximum salary of $133,000. Why the hell would you do that?'

Plus, Baker added, 'If we're going to get truly the best and the brightest in government, they'll be smart enough to run the hell away.'

Baker said career CIOs are likely to be mistrusted by incoming cabinet secretaries and deputy secretaries. 'Being inherited is not a good thing,' he said.

'T.R. Temin


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