March 17, 2009 By Matt Williams
The White House confirmed to The New York Times and others news sources that Vivek Kundra has come back to work after taking a four-day leave of absence after one of his former employees at the Washington, D.C., Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) was arrested last week amid a fraud investigation.
Kundra isn't a target of the probe, the FBI says. The White House said it placed Kundra on leave out of caution and to await more details of the FBI investigation. Yusuf Acar, the acting information systems security officer for OCTO; and Sushil Bansal, CEO of Advanced Integrated Technologies Corp., were arrested and held on bribery charges.
President Barack Obama named Kundra to the newly created federal CIO position on March 5. In his role, Kundra is the e-government administrator for the Office of Management and Budget and oversees IT spending and investments across the federal government. Kundra has the power to kill nonperforming programs.
Meanwhile, the Internet is abuzz about rumors that a person who matches Kundra's name and previous address was arrested in 1996 and pleaded guilty to petty theft. Kundra would've been 22 years old at the time.
Government Technology named Kundra one of 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2009. Since he was named CTO in 2007, he has become recognized as an innovative leader who relishes the opportunity to "democratize" data.
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