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Massachusetts has a problem. The Commonwealth can’t keep its CIO or pass an IT budget. Louis Gutierrez, the of CIO Massachusetts’ Information Technology Division, resigned earlier this week. Does this mean the end of the state’s pioneering ODF rollout?

First let’s look at why Gutierrez is leaving.

As he said in his resignation letter, it’s because, “IT innovation in Massachusetts state government ran out of steam in August, when the legislature closed its formal session without action on the IT and facilities bond. I am presiding over the dismantling of an IT investment program—over a decade in the evolution—that the legislative leadership appears unwilling to salvage at this time.”

This is widely seen as a blow to open standards. In particular, this won’t do the planned rollout of the Open Document Format for state use in January 2007 any good.

The use of ODF has been a controversial subject in Massachusetts for over a year now. Peter Quinn, Gutierrez’s predecessor as CIO, resigned on Jan. 9 because of personal attacks based in part on his support for ODF.

While Massachusetts is theoretically still switching to ODF for its official documents, without a budget to implement the change, it’s hard to see it happening.

Read the full story on Linux-Watch: Massachusetts CIO change worries ODF supporters

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