Mass. CIO Peter Quinn resigns

Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn, a leader among state IT officers in the push towards open data standards, unexpectedly resigned this week.

Quinn, in an e-mail to members of his staff, reportedly said his presence was undermining the IT division's efforts to adopt an open standards initiative, called the Enterprise Technical Reference Model, by 2007.

Julie Teer, press secretary for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, confirmed that Quinn had resigned, but said the state will continue to move towards adoption of open standards.

The Boston Globe reported that the resignation is effective Jan. 12.

"The administration is not backing away from moving toward open format software," Teer said in an E-mail to Washington Technology. "In fact, we are moving steadily towards that deadline and we expect no changes in those rules."

Quinn was not available for comment.

"Peter has left an indelible mark on public sector IT," said Matt Miszewski, CIO of Wisconsin and president of the National Association of State CIOs. "His resignation sets in stone the need for change in the area of open source, open standards and, of course, open formats. If the enemies of true change think it sets those efforts back, simply wait."

Quinn came under fire during the later stages of 2005. Earlier this year the state senate launched hearings into what it called a lack of due process within the state's IT division, and is now considering the creation of an IT review board to oversee state policies on the standardization of IT equipment and software.

This fall, Gov. Romney opened a review of six trips Quinn made to out-of-state conferences over the last two years.

The review found that Quinn had not violated any conflict of interest provisions, the Boston Globe reported.

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