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FCW : May 30, 2013
12 May 30, 2013 FCW.COM WITH VETER AFFAIRS? Projects are stalled, and IT leaders have departed. Investigations and agency sources paint a bleak picture inside VA s IT of ce. BY FRANK KONKEL WHAT'S WRO The Department of Veterans Affairs has been on the hot seat in recent months over its back- log of compensation claims and slow progress on an expensive joint health records system with the Defense Department. Both projects have signi cant IT components, but multiple assessments suggest that VA s Of ce of Infor- mation and Technology (OIT) is ill-equipped to deal with the problems. Formal reports include a "deep dive" internal review of OIT by Deloitte that was completed in December but not released to the public, and several Government Accountability Of ce and VA Of ce of Inspector General investigations. FCW also interviewed a dozen current and for- mer VA of cials, several of whom spoke on con- dition of anonymity. Combined, the information reveals dysfunc- tion at the highest echelons of the VA OIT: botched and duplicative IT projects burning through billions of dollars, signi cant turnover among senior IT executives, a lack of of cial accountability, and a serious disconnect between rank-and- le employees and OIT leaders. Big project problems VA s backlog of veterans disability claims is a black eye for the department by any mea- sure. According to VA gures dated April 20, the number of claims pending for more than
May 15, 2013
June 15, 2013