Balutis negotiating IAC departure

Alan Balutis, the effective but controversial executive director of the Industry Advisory Council and its parent, the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils, is negotiating with the two groups to be bought out of the remaining year of his contract.

According to several sources, the boards of IAC and FGIPC wanted Balutis to remain but told him that he would have to curtail outside consulting activities. 'Those outside activities are a conflict,' said one person close to the issue.

The board sent Balutis a letter in late November asking him to respond with a plan to remove himself from his consulting interests, sources said. Balutis replied last week, saying he would step down Jan. 31 if IAC and FGIPC would buy him out of his contract.

'In some ways, the board is allowing him to face the music and deal with this issue,' said a source. 'This is not a bad thing, and I applaud the board for doing that.'

An industry insider who knows Balutis and the two councils well said that, rather than stay, Balutis decided as a matter of principle to negotiate an end to his employment. The executive director had an agreement in place that allowed him to perform outside consulting, the source said, and 'small-minded folks [suffering from] professional jealousy' changed their minds after he accepted the agreement.

Balutis could not be reached for comment.

Balutis became executive director in March 2001. One of the conditions of his employment was that he be allowed to engage in outside consulting as long as it posed no conflict of interest. In June 2002, as IAC approached an election of new board members, the issue bubbled over.

Balutis provided a disclosure statement to Washington Technology, showing that from April through December 2001, he had worked on retainer to three companies, conducted specific projects for two others, held two salaried advisory positions with divisions of one company, and held a seat on two or more companies' federal advisory boards. He disputed any perception that those responsibilities constituted a conflict of interest.

Robert Guerra, a close friend of Balutis, said Balutis has a substantial consulting practice going and he likely will work full-time on it. Guerra said Balutis will work with his new consulting firm, Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik and Associates, but Balutis will not join the firm.

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