Tipton to leave CIO post

Interior Department CIO Hord Tipton plans to leave his job and retire from the federal government as of Jan. 7, 2007, officials in the department confirmed.

Tipton took the job of acting Interior CIO in mid-2002. During his tenure, Tipton and his staff pushed hard to upgrade IT security in the department.

Interior had been under the gun from court mandates to secure its systems to protect Individual Indian Trust accounts. Consultants for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia proved in 2001 that the multimillion-dollar accounting system could be easily hacked with tools available on the Internet.

As a result, Judge Royce Lamberth ordered almost all Interior agencies to sever their Internet connections in December 2001. Lamberth subsequently allowed Interior IT officials to progressively restore the Internet links as they upgraded the department's IT security.

Tipton has been overseeing the department's IT operations with the assistance of deputy CIO Ed Maegher, who joined Interior in February. Maegher formerly was chief technology officer at the Veterans Affairs Department

Tipton's tenure as Interior CIO also was marked by long-term projects to consolidate the department's e-mail systems, forge improve the enterprise network and impose order on its sprawling Web operations.

Tipton sought to upgrade the department's enterprise architecture and strengthen its technical reference model, as well as improve Interior's rating in the annual Federal Information Security Management Act security grading process.

Tipton previously worked as CIO of Interior's Bureau of Land Management. During his work at BLM, Tipton focused partly on upgrading the bureau's ability to train program managers, and sought to upgrade the organization's IT performance level to the Capability Maturity Model level 2 standard.

Tipton's earlier jobs at Interior stretch back to senior posts at the Office of Surface Mining some 20 years ago.

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