Here are a few thoughts on the Herald-Leader story on Michael Inman, the former commissioner of the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT).
For those of you that don’t know, I spent over a decade working for this organization. Now admittedly that ended during the Patton administration well before the current political purity police took over. But here are some realities about COT.
Inman was a figure head. The real guy in charge from the beginning of the Fletcher administration was Mark Rutledge. Inman was a dupe of the Fletcher administration.
The policy that state employees had no expectation to privacy in their email predates both Inman and Rutledge. I know because I was the guy that oversaw the installation of email at COT (then the Department of Information Systems, DIS). I was there when the policy was written.
Some people are saying COT is now hated by other state agencies. This is nothing new. COT and its’ predecessor agencies have always been hated by the other state agencies. The basis of the hate may be inflamed by the inept and probably corrupt management of COT, but the real reasons the other agency hate COT are turf wars and money. An employee’s privacy doesn’t mean squat to most agency heads.
The budget for COT comes from billing other agencies not an allocation from the General Fund. The more power it “consolidates”, the more billable hours it can charge. DIS, the predecessor agency to COT, was created during the Brown administration as a way of laundering federal money into the General fund.
As far as being effective techies Rutledge and his crew are lacking, they have blocked blogs, including this one, and still my highest group of readers comes from state government computers.
Now, I do believe that Rutledge and the techies working for him were instrumental in stonewalling the Attorney General’s investigation. Their inability to provide email trails to the Attorney General was as intentional as blocking certain blogs.
If they had simply been techies doing their job, the Fletcher administration would have been toast. Of course that would have required Greg Stumbo to follow through on the investigation instead of cutting a deal with Fletcher.
Given the level of technical competence demonstrated by Rutledge and crew I hope the next group in charge takes a long look at the systems they leave behind.
The real crime here is not looking at an employee’s email. The real crime is looking at it to insure political purity.
I can imagine what these guys have digitally left behind so I can’t wait to turn the techomages loose when these guys are escorted to the door, right Parth?