See John C. Dvorak’s article — Special Report: Is US Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra a Phony? and “No Agenda” piece The Vivek Kundra “Hollow” Deck. It’s also discussed on this week’s TWIT (see also Om Malik’s Dvorak Raises Doubts About U.S. CIO Kundra. White House Calls the Report “Highly Inaccurate” & “a Lie.” Kundra Speaks up). Dvorak seethes with justified scorn at this obvious case of cronyism, where some guy is anointed by the New York Times as some kind of “techno-wiz.” Dvorak says he got suspicious when he heard Kundra talking like an amateur about things like Twitter and Google Docs: “During one of his testimonies before a Congressional committee he even talked about the future being something like the Star Trek holodeck. His clichés and commentary was that of an 18 year-old blogger who just got their first Macintosh.” Hahahah.
When Dvorak looked more deeply into Kundra’s background, he noticed several anomalies: he claimed he was “CEO” of his own one-man company that he ran out of his living room (CEOs manage people; legitimate one-man companies don’t have “CEOs”); he claimed to have received “his master’s in information technology and his bachelor’s in psychology and biology from the University of Maryland,” though, as Dvorak notes: “The biology bachelor’s comes and goes from his bio, but the University has no record of his biology degree either.” Apparently he has no biology degree despite having claimed this in the past. And his psychology degree apparently came from the University’s “University College” location, which is apparently not the same as the University of Maryland itself (more resume fudging?).
But as Dvorak notes, even if Kundra is “squeaky clean he has no business being the USA CIO controlling billions and billions of dollars in government contracts…He hasn’t done anything to warrant this appointment. There are no great policy papers. There are no books. There is no invention. There is nothing but vague tech positions in city and state governments.” And what has he done so far? Blew $18 million of taxpayer money on the “recovery.gov” website. As Dvorak notes, “What website costs $18 million? … The incredibly popular Digg.com, one of the most advanced news gathering sites in the world was initially coded from scratch for between $1200-2500 according to one of its founders. Tools to develop fancy websites have improved drastically over the years and now it costs less for fancy sites, not more. So where is the $18 million going? I can assure you that people who pay attention bugged out their eyeballs at a website expense of $18 million.”8:28 am on August 17, 2009 Email Stephan Kinsella