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8/7/2009
08:13 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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CIO Resigns, IT Mgr. Indicted In $8M Embezzlement Scheme

An $8 million embezzlement scheme involving bid rigging, forgery, and money laundering has led to the indictment of an IT manager, the resignation of his uncharged CIO, and the firing of two other IT workers. The IT manager and three other suspects are accused of falsifying bids and creating shell companies within the IT department of a county government in Virginia.

An $8 million embezzlement scheme involving bid rigging, forgery, and money laundering has led to the indictment of an IT manager, the resignation of his uncharged CIO, and the firing of two other IT workers. The IT manager and three other suspects are accused of falsifying bids and creating shell companies within the IT department of a county government in Virginia.In the wake of the scandal, officials within the Prince William, Va., country government are looking to hire a new CIO while they overhaul all current aspects of the Office of Information Technology's operations and financial processes and records, according to the Washington Examiner.

Indicted in the scandal is former OIT systems division chief Maneesh Gupta, who along with two other OIT unnamed workers was fired when the investigation began a couple of months ago. Massoud Nourbakhsh, who was the CIO for the county during the time the alleged embezzlement scheme was unfolding, was not charged with any wrongdoing but has resigned.

County officials are taking a number of steps to tighten controls over workflow, financial oversight, and project governance, the Washington Examiner reported:

Before now, one person in information technology was responsible for all steps involving contract controls. Now several additional review steps have been added, including review from the project manager, management and fiscal analyst, division director, and acting chief information officer.

The county's finance director is also looking at all county contracts to check what agency controls and review processes are in place, the Examiner said.

To foster increased responsibility in OIT, project managers are now also responsible for project budgets and implementation. Previously, project managers were not allowed to have budget responsibility or control in the Information Systems Division. A county training program for OIT project managers has also been added.

Also, the county has hired a consulting firm to advise on security and controls within the IT department and has set up an Internal Control Council to serve as watchdog over processes and contracts.

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