DorobekINSIDER: Roger Baker to leave VA ‘in the near future’
Roger Baker, the chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, is leaving that post “in the near future.”
Baker doesn’t offer a final date, but some insiders suggest it could be as soon as March 1.
In the time of transition, Baker is the latest to announce that he is leaving his post. NASA CIO Linda Cureton announced she is leaving that post at the end of the month.
At VA, Baker oversees IT for the government’s second largest agency — a $3.3 billion budget and more than 7,000 IT workers.
The VA under Baker, who was confirmed by the Senate in May, 2009, has made remarkable progress and he has won just about every award — including Federal Computer Week’s 2013 Federal 100 award.
The VA CIO is in a unique position given that post has power over government spending. In 2010, when Baker was recognized with the GCN civilian executive of the year, he stressed the importance of having the power of the purse and his ability to use that authority to bring about change. VA’s success should be a lesson to the rest of government, he said. Because VA has a consolidated IT appropriation, it allows Baker and his staff to force changes. “Money is power in the government,” he said. “Money is love.”
“The consolidated IT appropriation is absolutely essential to driving real change in the IT results of an agency,” he noted at the time, and he future said that all federal CIOs should have authority over their IT budgets, he added. “The results at VA, the second largest federal agency, speak for themselves,” Baker said. “Empower CIOs to make real change happen.”
Read Baker’s note to staff following the break:
Office of Information and Technology
CIO Message February 15, 2013
Important Announcement from the Assistant Secretary, Roger W. Baker
My friends and colleagues in VA IT, this email is to announce that I am planning to resign from my position as the Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology in the near future.
At this point, I have not established when my final day will be.
I would like to thank each of you for your hard work and dedication in serving our VA customers and our Nation’s Veterans. Over the last four years, VA IT has come to be recognized as a leader in federal IT. We have improved our relationships with our IT customers; established one of the highest performing product delivery organizations in the world; achieved visibility to our networks and medical devices; focused our decision-making based on metrics and not by anecdotes; and become an IT organization that is seen as an investment for the VA rather than an expense.
Most critically, VA IT has become the backbone for the transformation of the VA into a 21st Century organization that the Secretary has envisioned. Your ability to deliver the technology necessary to support that transformation and to reliably meet our commitments to our customers is fundamental to that transformation.
Thank you all for all that you do in providing service and support to our Nation’s Veterans. Your work is important and it has been my honor to be a part of this amazing organization.
Roger W. Baker
Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology Department of Veterans Affairs