Politico reports “Tech experts exit White House”
July 8th, 2011

Vivek Kundra, the US federal government’s first chief information officer, is the most recent top expert to leave. Several other key tech players who are leaving are detailed in the Politico article. Here is some of the take from Politico about why they are leaving:

“It’s a shame because they, coming into the administration, were a bunch of people who understood how this could change the way government works and make the public more trusting,” said Micah Sifry, co-founder of Personal Democracy Forum. “But these people did get a lot of good work done in the first two years. That doesn’t get rolled back just because some have left.”

Those who have moved on acknowledge some frustration with the glacial pace of governmental bureaucracy. [Andrew] McLaughlin, who was head of global public policy for Google before joining the administration, said the White House team always supported new initiatives, such as using cloud computing to reduce federal IT costs and expanding broadband. But it was difficult to persuade agencies to adopt new technologies, he said.

“I don’t think people are leaving because of some grand debate over whether technology is important and whether it’s a useful part of the administration,” McLaughlin said. Still, policy experts working on specific areas — such as cybersecurity, privacy and wireless spectrum — would run into a “buzz saw of long-standing bureaucracy,” he said.


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