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City begins internal review of schools’ technology department

Major changes could be coming to the Department of Education’s information technology department.

DOE Chief Information Officer Ted Brodheim, who has held that position for the last four years, is leaving the department, according to an email from Chief Operating Officer Sharon Greenberger that was obtained by GothamSchools. Brodheim’s deputy, Steve Vigilante, is replacing him on an interim basis.

Greenberger’s email also indicates that, in the wake of Brodheim’s departure, she is beginning an internal review of the information technology department. Her email describes the review as “a focused analysis of the budgets, grants, consultant-usage, contracts, HR, organizational structure, space, and procurement for the division.”

The DOE did not respond today when asked why the review was being done — I’ll update when they do.

A former DOE employee who worked closely with both Brodheim and Vigilante said the change was interesting because of the mens’ backgrounds. Brodheim comes from the finance world — he was a managing director at JP Morgan before joining the DOE in 2007 — whereas Vigilante has spent much of the last 20 years in the city’s Department of Information Technology and with the DOE. Brodheim came in under former Chancellor Joel Klein; Vigilante pre-dated Klein.

The review comes at the same time that the DOE is planning to spend more on contracts with technology consultants. Though this year’s budget cut technology consultant spending by $4 million, next year’s will increase it by $24 million. DOE officials told the Daily News that the spending increase is exaggerated because they underestimated their costs for this year, so the budget will be significantly larger than originally planned.

From: Greenberger Sharon Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 3:57 PM Subject: DIIT Organizational Update Dear Colleagues, I want to provide you with a brief organizational update for the Division of Instructional and Information Technology (DIIT). First, after four years with the DOE, Ted Brodheim has decided to leave the Department this month to pursue new opportunities. I want to thank Ted for his hard work and numerous contributions over the past several years; please join me in wishing him the best of luck in his future endeavors. Beginning this Monday, March 7th, George Vasiliou and Kemi Akinsanya-Rose from my office will lead a short-term, internal review of DIIT to better understand its roles, functions and responsibilities and best position it to serve our collective, strategic priorities. As part of this comprehensive organizational review, which we anticipate will take roughly 6 weeks to complete, I have asked Richard Ross and Ling Tan to work with George and Kemi in assessing the operational functions of the division. Richard, the Director of Operations for the Division of the General Counsel, has extensive experience managing operational functions within the DOE, and Ling, a former DIIT team member, is a key business partner to DIIT in her current role as the Executive Director for Capital & Reimbursable Finance in the CFO office. Together with George and Kemi, they will conduct a focused analysis of the budgets, grants, consultant-usage, contracts, HR, organizational structure, space, and procurement for the division. To expedite this review, Richard will take on the temporary role as Acting Director of DIIT Operations/Administration. Effective immediately, this DIIT team will report to Richard on an interim basis. I want to thank Janine Maisano for managing this team since Sheila Raskob’s retirement in January, and thank Michael Best and Veronica Conforme for their support of this initiative. While this review takes place, I have asked Steve Vigilante to serve as Acting CIO for the DIIT division. Effective Monday, March 7, DIIT Operations and Applications teams will report to Steve. Steve has great familiarity with all DIIT functions, and I thank him for his willingness to step into this interim position. I know that I can count on all of you to provide Steve, George, Kemi, Richard, and Ling with the support needed during this critical transition. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or George. Thank you for your cooperation, Sharon