August 17, 2009 By News Report
A bribery scheme in Washington, D.C.'s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) has netted its first guilty plea.
Sarosh Mir, an employee for a technology contracting firm, late last week admitted he had falsified invoices sent to the D.C. government in pleading guilty in federal court to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, according to local media. He charged the district for employees who didn't actually work.
Mir was the fourth person charged. Yusuf Acar, the acting information systems security officer of OCTO; Farrukh Awan, another D.C. employee; and Sushil Bansal, CEO of Advanced Integrated Technologies Corp., were arrested in March and held on bribery charges and related offenses. Mir reportedly worked for Bansal. Authorities said the men had steered contracts and falsified invoices.
D.C. officials said the fraud cost the city at least $500,000.
The scandal first erupted in March, only days after President Barack Obama named Washington, D.C., Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra the nation's first-ever federal CIO. The Obama administration briefly put Kundra on administrative leave, pending the investigation. Kundra was reinstated after the FBI concluded he wasn't involved in the corruption.
Chris Willey is Washington, D.C.'s interim chief technology officer.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.