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FCW : August 15, 2014
August 15, 2014 FCW.COM 11 in tax debt is owed by DOD employees and contractors still eligible for security clearances $730 million After six years of development at a cost of nearly $300 million, the Social Security Administration has decided to press "reset" on its project to improve a claims-processing system after a recent report found it was not up to the task. McKinsey and Co., which SSA com- missioned to assess the Disability Case Processing System, found that the pro- gram "delivered limited functionality and faced schedule delays as well as increasing stakeholder concerns." The project s goal is to replace the 54 components of SSA s disability deter- mination system with one system that uses automated tools to reduce the processing time for initial disability claims and increase system availability. But McKinsey concluded that it remains a work in progress. "While current release plan and beta testing model are conceptually sound, exe- cution has fallen short, resulting in deployment of immature software to production that does not deliver incre- mental value," the report states. Furthermore, SSA s response to the problems "has been to continue going broad without maintaining high qual- ity and full functionality, which has exacerbated change management challenges." Lockheed Martin, the prime contrac- tor on the project, said it has reviewed the report and is "committed to deliv- ering on this program and for our customer." Greg Gershman, co-founder of Ad Hoc, a consulting company focused on helping the government improve its approach to IT projects, said start- ing over might not be a bad idea. "With an IT system like this, it would be smart to bring in technology experts, people who have experience with transactional, data-driven appli- cations, to assess what they currently have, can it be salvaged or does it need to be started over from scratch," he said. Echoing McKinsey, Gershman added that "if there s not strong leadership, problems arise with coordinating work between contractors, and there s no one person looking at the system as a single entity. Everyone is making sure their piece is done, and ful lling their responsibility up to a certain point." In response to the report, SSA appointed Terrie Gruber, an assistant deputy commissioner, as program executive with full authority. SSA also is establishing an integrated program team and will refresh requirements, strengthen vendor management, update its cost/bene t analysis and adopt a more agile approach to pro- gram development, a spokesperson told FCW. "We are committed to implementing the assessment recommendations and are con dent we will deliver this vital initiative successfully," the spokesper- son said. --- Colby Hochmuth SSA's $300 million IT op VA's new secretary gets to work The Senate con rmed former Proct- er & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in a 97-0 vote on July 29. During the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee's con rmation hearing, McDonald said his experi- ence overseeing the company's efforts to digitize its operations could be applied at VA. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) agreed, saying McDonald's tenure at Procter & Gamble "gives him the tools to create a well-run and accountable VA. " --- Troy K. Schneider Leader of DHS cyber hub stepping down Larry Zelvin will step down in mid- August as director of the Depart- ment of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity and Com- munications Integration Center. The former Navy captain was previously director of incident man- agement on the president's National Security Staff, now known as the National Security Council Staff. Zelvin has been the center's public face, appearing at cyberse- curity conferences to meet with industry experts and on Capitol Hill to testify on behalf of the Obama administration. --- Sean Lyngaas Senate con rms Creedon at NNSA The Senate approved Madelyn Creedon's nomination to be the Energy Department's principal dep- uty administrator for the National Nuclear Security Admin- istration. She will support NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz in managing the agen- cy and contribute to policy matters at DOE and NNSA. Creedon had been assis- tant secretary of Defense for global strategic affairs since 2011. She has also served as coun- sel for the Democratic staff on the Senate Armed Services Committee and was deputy administrator for defense programs at NNSA in 2000. --- Mark Rockwell FCW INSIDER Madelyn Creedon
July 30, 2014
August 30, 2014