DorobekInsider: Baker is now officially the new VA CIO

Monday - 5/18/2009, 8:56pm EDT

The Department of Veterans Affairs officially has a new chief information officer. Roger Baker, formerly the Commerce Department CIO, was confirmed by the Senate Monday. Baker’s formal title is Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology.

In addition to Baker, the Senate confirmed three other people: Gunn to be VA’s general counsel; Riojas to be assistant secretary for operations, security and preparedness, and Sepulveda to be assistant secretary for human resources and administration.

Here is the press releases from Sen. Daniel Akaka, chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee issued late Monday (thanks to Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller):

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, praised his colleagues for confirming four of President Barack Obama’s nominees to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) tonight: Roger W. Baker, Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology; Will A.Gunn, General Counsel; Jose D. Riojas, Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security, and Preparedness; and John U. Sepulveda, Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration. They join Secretary Eric Shinseki, Deputy Secretary Scott Gould, and Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth as part of VA’s growing team of confirmed leaders.

“I thank my Senate colleagues for recognizing the importance of establishing a confirmed leadership team at VA. Secretary Shinseki now has a stronger team to help him accomplish his ambitious agenda. I encourage the Administration to move quickly in nominating qualified candidates for the VA leadership positions that remain vacant,” saidAkaka.

Chairman Akaka and the Committee unanimously approved the four nominees on May 12, following a hearing the week before. The Senate has the responsibility under the constitution to provide advice and consent on Presidential nominees for positions within the Executive branch. As Chairman of the Committee of jurisdiction over veterans programs,Akaka leads the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in reviewing nominations for over a dozen VA leadership positions, judgeships for the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, as well as the Labor Department’s Assistant Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training Programs. (For a list ofconfirmable positions reviewed by Senate Committees, click here.)

To be honest, one of the most frustrating exercises is trying to find any of this information on the Senate Web site. You can find the release for the previous action by the Senate committee, but nothing about this action.