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Massachusetts CIO quits

Louis Gutierrez says he's leaving due to lack of tech funding; move not expected to affect OpenDocument policy.

The chief information officer of Massachusetts is stepping down, complaining about a lack of funding for the commonwealth's technology initiatives.

Louis Gutierrez on Tuesday sent his letter of resignation to the state's secretary of administration and finance, Thomas Trimarco. The letter blasts the state for halting spending on ongoing projects.

Louis Gutierrez
Louis Gutierrez

"I'm presiding over the dismantling of an IT investment program--over a decade in the evolution--that the legislature leadership appears unwilling to salvage at this time," Gutierrez wrote.

His departure, effective in 30 days, will not derail the state's policy of adopting OpenDocument as the state's default document format, said Felix Browne, a spokesman for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"We've established a course of action that remains prudent and will be pursued actively," Browne said. He added that no successor has been named.

Gutierrez took over the CIO job in January and was a strong backer of the state's existing decision to use standards-based document formats.

In August, the state said it intends to use a plug-in to Microsoft Office, which will allow executive branch agency employees to save and open documents in the OpenDocument format. A launch has been planned over the course of next year.

In his letter, Gutierrez said the state is "dismantling" its information technology investment program and that ongoing projects will need to be shut down and restarted at great costs.

Earlier this summer, the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate did not pass a bond bill that would have financed several technology projects.

"IT innovation in Massachusetts' state government ran out of steam in August, when the legislature closed its formal session without action on the IT and facilities bond," Gutierrez wrote.

Gutierrez succeeded , who resigned in late 2005 saying that technology decisions, notably the OpenDocument policy, had become too politicized.