Federal CIO Kundra's leadership worth only a B grade?

Survey gives him high marks for vision, less so for dedication

Vivek Kundra may be gone from the federal contracting scene, but his legacy lives on — albeit amid some controversy.

A recent MeriTalk survey of federal IT professionals lauded the former federal CIO for making a significant impact during his tenure at the Office of Management and Budget and for his vision in advancing the government IT community.

The federal IT sector is better as a result, said 71 percent of the respondents.

Seventy-one percent of respondents credited Kundra with making a significant impact and 75 percent said his vision was his greatest strength.

Only 18 percent cited his dedication.

Overall they gave him a grade of B for his leadership and raised questions about OMB’s implementation timing, funding, and conflicting mandates for improving federal IT.

Among Kundra's top challenges, 59 percent said he did not get sufficient funding to fulfill mandates. Forty-four percent of respondents said he faced conflicting mandates and 41 percent said he faced unrealistic goals or mandates.

Only 29 percent said they were following Kundra’s Cloud First policy, a keystone of his federal IT innovation program.

Asked what Steven VanRoekel, the new federal CIO, should focus on, 60 percent said reducing the number of mandates, 53 percent urged a reassessment of goals and timelines to make success more attainable, and 46 percent called on VanRoekel to listen to feedback and counsel from IT operators.

The in-person survey, titled “Over to You, Mr. VanRoekel…A Federal IT Referendum on Change Study,” involved 174 federal IT and systems integrators. It was conducted at the MeriTalk Innovation Nation conference in August.

The complete survey is available at www.meritalk.com/OverToYou.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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