Feeds

Open document man resigns from Mass CTO post

Tired of being a lightning rod

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The main cheerleader behind Massachusetts' embrace of the OpenDocument format (ODF) has resigned, saying his role as the state's IT chief has been undermined by controversy surrounding the document battle.

Peter Quinn, the chief information officer for Massachusetts since 2002, notified his staff of the decision to move on last week. The resignation becomes effective on Jan. 12 and raises some questions as to how the OpenDocument push will be embraced without its major backer. That said, the state is still on course to use the ODF standard by 2007.

"I have become a lightning rod with regard to any IT initiative," Quinn wrote in an e-mail to his staff. "Even the smallest initiatives are being mitigated or stopped by some of the most unlikely and often uninformed parties.

''I view these circumstances as quite troubling because the good work laid out by the IT Commission is slowly being strangled and brought to a halt. And the last thing I can let happen is my presence be the major contributing factor marginalizing the good work of ITD and the entire IT community."

ODF has been backed by the likes of IBM and Sun Microsystems who wouldn't mind seeing Microsoft lose its grip on the office suite market. Meanwhile, Microsoft has claimed that banning non-ODF compliant software unfairly limits competition.

Beyond this vendor controversy, some Massachusetts politicians have complained that moving away from Microsoft Office will be costly and that requiring ODF in all instances is too broad of a move.

In addition, the squabble over ODF has turned into a personal affair for Quinn.

The Boston Globe requested that Governor Mitt Romney's administration investigate Quinn's expenses and jaunts to trade shows. A review of the matter revealed that "Quinn had authorization to make the trips and had not violated any conflict of interest provisions," the Globe noted in its report today about Quinn's resignation. The paper failed to mention that it had requested the investigation in the first place - an oversight that Groklaw deemed cowardly.

The director of communication for Governor Romney told the Globe that the shift to ODF remains on track. "We are moving steadily towards that deadline and we expect no changes in those rules," said the spokesman. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.