DHS CIO Richard Spires Takes Voluntary Leave - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Leadership
News
4/1/2013
03:03 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

DHS CIO Richard Spires Takes Voluntary Leave

High-profile head of the Department of Homeland Security's IT has been on leave since March 15, but the exact reason for his departure remains unclear.

New York's 32-Story Data 'Fortress'
New York's 32-Story Data 'Fortress'
(click image for slideshow)
Department of Homeland Security chief information officer Richard Spires, who oversees one of the largest agency IT budgets in federal government and serves as vice chairman of the federal CIO Council, asked for and was placed on voluntary leave of absence March 15.

According to a DHS official who requested anonymity to more freely discuss personnel matters, the leave is unrelated to recent Congressional testimony Spires delivered in February or was scheduled to give in March.

However, the DHS official declined to comment further on any reason for Spires' leave, or the length of that leave, again citing the fact that Spires' leave is a personnel matter. Elected leave contrasts with administrative leave, which is involuntarily imposed, often for reasons of misconduct.

In testimony Spires delivered to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Feb. 27, he said that agency CIOs needed clearer lines of authority. At that hearing, Spires was asked numerous questions about DHS' federated IT management structure.

[ What is the FDA doing on Facebook? Read FDA To Track Illicit Product Trade Online. ]

DHS deputy CIO Margie Graves, who is taking on the role as acting CIO in Spires' absence, testified in place of Spires on March 19 before the House Committee on Homeland Security's oversight subcommittee. However, Spires met with the subcommittee chair, and his official statement was initially posted online. At that hearing, the DHS inspector general and Government Accountability Office issued largely neutral reports about DHS IT management.

Spires has taken on an active and visible role at DHS since being appointed CIO in September 2009. In that position, he oversees DHS' IT budget and policies, and chairs DHS' CIO Council and Enterprise Architecture Board. He also acts as vice chairman of the inter-agency federal CIO Council and has played key leadership roles in the multi-year Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative.

Spires has been a vocal proponent of DHS' "One DHS" campaign, which aims to continue consolidating and aligning a federal agency that was, in the wake of 9/11, cobbled together from disparate agencies and bureaus. As part of the data center consolidation initiative, for example, DHS is consolidating dozens of data centers into two primary data centers. Other recent DHS IT initiatives include a shared services effort that has been applauded by federal CIO Steve VanRoekel.

Before joining DHS, Spires led modernization efforts as CIO of the Internal Revenue Service, served as president and COO of financial services software provider Mantas, and worked for more than 16 years at systems integrator SRA International.

InformationWeek's 2013 Government IT Innovators program will feature the most innovative government IT organizations in the 2013 InformationWeek 500 issue and on InformationWeek.com. Does your organization have what it takes? The nomination period for 2013 Government IT Innovators closes April 12.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Pandemic Responses Make Room for More Data Opportunities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/4/2021
Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
News
Transformation, Disruption, and Gender Diversity in Tech
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/6/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll