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Thursday, October 05, 2006

CDC official replaced in wake of finance probe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is replacing the director of its financial management office — a move that comes as federal investigators are investigating allegations of altered payment records and after a recent report criticized the office's leadership.

In an e-mail to employees Wednesday afternoon, and obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CDC financial management office Director John Tibbs said he will be moving to a new job as chief management official in the agency's Office of Workforce and Career Development.

The financial management office handles accounting for the agency's annual budget of about $8.4 billion.

"While I have spent my CDC career at FMO, this affords me the opportunity to gain programmatic experience and be part of a larger management transition plan," Tibbs said in the e-mail. He did not respond to a request for an interview.

Effective on Monday, Bill Nichols will become director of CDC's financial management office. Nichols previously was head of the agency's procurement and grants office.

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said Tibbs' job change is simply one of several recent "job rotations" among top management officials in an effort to strengthen and grow leadership. The moves are happening now because Oct. 1 is the start of the fiscal year.

When asked whether the federal investigation of CDC payments to vendors or the report critical of Tibbs' office played any role in his move, Skinner said: "To allude that any one particular issue or another led to the rotations really minimizes what we're trying to accomplish here."

"What we're trying to accomplish is strengthening management and business innovations across all of CDC," he said.

In a statement, CDC Chief Operating Officer Bill Gimson said: "John Tibbs is the best budget person in the department, and this move is a normal part of his career development, just as it is with all of the others involved in this move."

In an e-mail to CDC staff Wednesday evening, Gimson said Tibbs' move is one of several that will bring various managers' skills and talents to new parts of CDC.

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