Balutis exits councils

After months of controversy, Alan Balutis has stepped down as the executive director of both the Industry Advisory Council and the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils. His resignation was effective Jan. 20.

Balutis' departure came after concerns were raised that he also was working as a consultant for some companies that are IAC members. Balutis originally agreed to serve as executive director with the understanding that he could also provide consulting services. But other members thought this was a conflict of interest.

Balutis and the chairmen of the two councils, IAC's Bob Woods of Affiliated Computer Services Inc. and FGIPC's John Ortego of the Agriculture Department, negotiated over the course of several weeks, trying to come to an amicable resolution, Woods said.

"We'd gone through some fairly tedious processes, but I think, in the end, what came out was fair," Woods said.

Woods said the two organizations are drafting a job description for the vacant position.

"One thing we learned out of this stuff is if you don't know what you're looking for, anything will do," he said. "I'm convinced the important thing at this point is to know what you're looking for."

A search committee has been formed, Woods said, and there already are a number of prospective candidates for the position: "Let's just say the number ... is in double digits," he said.

As for qualifications, "We don't want someone who will hurt us. Sometimes it helps to state it as a negative," Woods said.

Balutis declined to answer questions.

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