VA Failure

Veterans Affairs just announced its massive $500 million asset tracking IT project will be delayed by at last one year due to “catastrophic failure.”

Five years ago, VA launched a project to digitally track medical equipment. That project was slated to cost $543 million where Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Service (now DXC Technology) was awarded the primary contract.

The project was intended to create a real-time locating system (RTLS) that would solve mysterious problems VA has in managing its inventory. Basically, it was supposed to be a VA version of the “Internet of Things”.

According to documents obtained by My Statesman, the project ran into massive problems because VA lacked the wi-fi systems in its hospitals to actually implement the project even if HP showed up with the software, today.

Due to “catastrophic failure”, the project will be delayed at least another year.

Here is an excerpt from the publication that well summarizes what may be at the core of the problem:

In September 2013, the VA declared Hewlett-Packard’s underlying data architecture “unacceptable.”

Then, just as the Government Accountability Office was releasing its postmortem of the failed scheduling software and record merging project, the VA began large-scale testing of its RTLS tracking system.

The March 2015 test was an overwhelming failure: the system could only accurately track equipment in 40 percent of cases (a percentage disputed by Hewlett-Packard). In the majority of cases, the system could not pinpoint location and even misidentified the floor equipment was stored on. 

The dismal performance was “endangering performance of the RTLS contract,” VA officials at the department’s Technology Acquisition Center in Austin warned the firm, threatening to cancel the contract if Hewlett-Packard didn’t make quick fixes.

Hewlett-Packard in turn blamed the VA’s inadequate wireless Internet infrastructure for the problems.

The company told the VA that 137 WiFi access points were non-operational and blamed the VA for cutting corners in trying to implement a cutting edge RTLS system while using faulty WiFi.

The root problem for the failures lay in “performance errors that it appears VA has failed to take responsibility to correct,” Hewlett Packard wrote, adding that the company “should not be held accountable for the VA’s WiFi limitations.” 

By mid-2016, frustrations were boiling over. When a VA supervisor refused to let HP access its cloud-based back-up systems, another VA employee wondered why in an email chain. “I was also surprised,” a third VA employee wrote in an email. “But I read it as, I am 100% fed up with these nitwits and I’m not going to give on anything anymore.” 

The VA later issued a stop work order and re-negotiated new or modified contracts with Hewlett-Packard. The VA downplayed the issues mentioned in internal documents, telling the Statesman that the stop work order “allowed the VA to refocus efforts toward delivering capabilities in an incremental approach beginning with those that were more mature” and “provided both parties the opportunity to finalize the path forward and realign the schedule to achieve those goals.”

“In a technology project of the scope and magnitude of RTLS, it’s common for those involved to periodically reassess the program and realign the approach in order to achieve the desired outcome,” VA officials said.

These problems are not unique to this program. VA has a horrific track record working with IT companies to develop custom solutions regardless of the amount of money thrown at the issues.

VA and DOD spent over $1 billion to unify their health care record systems without finding a solution. Ultimately, the program was abandoned and now VA is buying the same commercial solution DOD purchased.

VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, has promised to stop the practice of VA getting involved in developing IT solutions since it is a complete waste of money and time. Instead, the agency will now focus more on purchasing off-the-shelf solutions.

Good. It is about time VA focus on what the agency is supposed to do rather than develop custom IT solutions that are a complete waste of money and time.

Source: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/local-military/foray-into-internet-things-faced-catastrophic-failure/tlxTO87eQO8uX4CFyk810J/

123 COMMENTS

  1. Nice article, Ben.

    I agree that it is way past time for the VA to do what it is supposed to do. Notice that this is only a delay, NOT a cancellation. In the meantime – – – they will be using OTS solutions. They will still be spending the money on this (although delayed) or OTHER FRIVOLOUS PROJECTS. BEST to cancel them all, reduce employee bonuses, hire more computer literate veterans as claims processors/supervisors at the VBA.

    Regarding medical healthcare, it is time to FIX THE DAMN BROKEN VA:

    1. Recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations.

    2. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.

    3. Sell off all the VA facilities. Alternatively, they may be converted into housing for homeless veterans.

    4. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors within their community that they can TRUST.

    5. The United States Government will PAY those doctors promptly (Within 45 days) for the care they provide veterans.

    6. ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states to practice other than their own. Going to practice in Hawaii? You need to be LICENSED in Hawaii. Same applies to all other states.

    7. Any claim a veteran submits that requires more than 90 days to adjudicate, is automatically found to be in favor of the veteran. If a claim filed by a veteran is found to be a false one designed to scam the system, the VA will have to prove in civil court that a false claim was intentionally submitted.

    8. All veterans will be allowed to seek/retain the services of a Veterans Rights Attorney from their first initial contact with the VA.

    9. No AFGE, nor any other Labor Union business will be allowed to take place in any Federal Workplace. Conducting Union Business during working hours will be STRICTLY PROHIBITED, and will be STRICTLY ENFORCED. Should any government employee be found violating this provision, it will result in IMMEDIATE LIFETIME DISMISSAL FROM ANY/ALL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYMENT.

    10. Attorneys for appeal will be retained at the former employee’s PERSONAL expense. U. S. Taxpayer’s will not be subject to payment of legal bills for incompetent personnel with regards to Governmental Employment.

    You have my contact information Mr. Secretary. Call me anytime. I have a lot of ideas to help you improve the services provided to my fellow veterans in rapid time. And I will not hesitate to speak up at all.

    For my fellow veterans who have been ill-served by this CLUSTERFUCK of a train wreck called the VA over the last three decades:

    Our battles overseas were far less stressful than our war here at home. Never Cruel or cowardly. Never Give Up. Never Give In. We are on the Righteous path.

    POTUS Reagan broke up PATCO in the ’80’s. Time for POTUS Trump to break up the AFGE. Most of our current Congress Critters do NOT have Veterans Interests at heart. Perhaps their replacements will. VOTE OUT all these WORTHLESS INCUMBENTS.

    Give their replacement’s one term to take care of Veterans who put aside their own personal lives to answer this nation’s call when she needed them.

    If they cannot MUSTER THE STONES to do it properly – – – vote their worthless asses out as well. Party should NOT MATTER. What SHOULD MATTER is their VOTING RECORDS ON VETERANS ISSUES.

    NO Combat Veteran should be surprised when the next McVeigh or Congressional Baseball Team Incident occurs. Bound to happen. Just a matter of time . . .

    We have now reached the next accelerative phase of our country falling apart. Country before Party. Principles before Personalities. Always.

    Want to REALLY get the VA fixed? The next SecVA needs to be a former Enlisted Man with a few serious axes to grind against the VA and the AFGE. Apparently these West Point graduates and Shithead Civvies can’t cut the mustard . . .

    Maybe a SINCERELY MOTIVATED Gunnery Sergeant or Chief Petty Officer CAN.

    Disgruntled Veteran
    1973 – 1976 USMC
    1978 – 1993 USN
    Wounded Warrior
    Honolulu, Hawaii

  2. I left a comment about 40 minutes ago and later realized my comments about a paragraph could be interpreted as criticizing the writer. I was not criticizing the writing, I was criticizing what the VA didn’t do but should have done. Sorry

  3. I’m not sure why, but I feel like I’ve read this article before. I have but one question. Whom in the VA made the most money? Well, a couple questions. Clinics say they don’t have WiFi. They were never going through with it. Just moving money. Isn’t$500,000,000.00 a lot of money to track a bar code? If, the VA had proper WiFi? No idea what the truth is, just know we won’t hear it from the VA or the good Doctor. An informative article Ben, and Cj, I am calm.

    • Jo3n, most clinics had WiFi at the time of contract start, or were planning to get it installed soon. There was not generally a problem with VA facility WiFi connectivity at enabled sites, once the RTLS was installed. The problem was that the components didn’t work well together, and that’s because the VA gave HPES a narrow set of suppliers and technical solutions. Nobody had ever done RTLS on such a scale, with first-time-together vendors.

      Regarding the overall money, you’d be surprised at the savings that have been measured in smaller implementations, as well as much more efficient sterilization and maintenance scheduling of equipment. A VA nurse told me that she spent up to half a day a week just tracking down specialty beds in her facility.

      • @IT Project Manager- Without any standardization across any system, and namely the VA in this scenario, that lack of standardization of ALL systems makes for a systemic mess and that’s what the VA is.
        A given Vet may go to Denver VAMC and relocate within that year to say New York or Puerto Rico and go to utilize those new to that Vet VAMC only to find they do things ENTIRELY different, interpret regulations as THEY SEE FIT….having a continual VA outsourcing contract cluster of many vendors but nobody on the same page…again, the recipe for the systemic mess the VA is in and has been for a while.

        I dare say the VA would make the PERFECT Wiki definition and example of “SYSTEMIC MESS” and patchwork shitty clusterfuck of a system.

        Rant Out….Mr. IT….

      • I kinda thought someone would come on here and TRY to defend both, the VA AND H/P!
        Won’t work “IT Project Manager”! We’re onto the MANY scams VA has/will pull on veterans AND taxpayers!
        Don’t think, one bit, by coming on here, a veteran centric website, to try to defend the indefensible you won’t receive backlash!
        Oh, and btw, how much of the taxpayers monies have you socked away for a rainy day over this train wreck of a $500 million sweet deal/contract?

        That’s all I have to say about that bullshit!

      • @IT Project Manager – – – I believe you. I believe you are a total fucking troll. VA helping to enrich your bank account?

      • @James Clement: your reading comprehension is insufficient to enable effective participation on this blog.

        To recap: I was laid off in 2016 when this project failed so badly that even my employer (HPES) and the client (VA) had to stop work. I have described the many, many problems on this project here today on the part of both the contractors (HPES, etc.) and the VA. You and Crazy Elf are unable to comprehend what I have written, perhaps intentionally so. How is that being a troll? How is that defending the VA?

        I’m disappointed in this site. As a disabled veteran myself, I’ve been following for a couple of years now by reading the daily emails. When this project hit the newse and cognitive impairment result in your knee-jerk reaction to insult me, which is completely out of whack with what I’ve posted.

        Regarding WiFi: Yes, I say the news is wrong, that the VA’s WiFi was not even in the top 5 problems, which were many.

        Good luck to you and all of you, shipmates.

      • 3rd para has a error, arising from haste in posting: should read

        “…by reading the daily emails. When this project hit the news today, I thought some might appreciate the details. Instead, your reading and cognitive impairment result in your knee-jerk reaction to insult me.”

      • Regarding RTLS savings in general: yes, it saves quite a bit of personnel time, and can make sterilization and maintenance scheduling much easier. But those results have come in much smaller implementations, such as one clinic in one hospital, and using the same vendor with their standardized, off-the-shelf solutions. Nobody had ever tried cobbling together bits and pieces on a national scale before. We had six vendors for hardware and software.

      • Just another excuse, va does what they want even if they don’t know what their doing.

        Excuse after excuse. Yawn. !

        Bunch of liers, tell us how u saved 💰 !

        Small amounts, denying veterans their deserved disabilities does not count. !!!

      • @IT Project Manage – – – Good Luck to you, too. TROLL !!! Don’t let the low-order BITS BYTE your high-order ASS on the way out.

        A bit of IT humor there . . .

      • “[… Don’t let the low-order BITS BYTE your high-order ASS on the way out….]”

        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Still laughing 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 THAT was funny! 🙂

      • @Nam – – – Just a polite way of telling IT Project Manager to:

        0100011101101111001000000100011001110101011000110110101100100000010000010010000001000100011101010110001101101011

      • 01000001 00100000 01100100 01110101 01100011 01101011 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100110 01110101 01100011 01101011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100110 01110101 01100011 01101011 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100100 01110101 01100011 01101011 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100110 01101001 01100110 01110100 01100101 01100101 01101110 00100000 01100010 01110101 01100011 01101011 01110011 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100110 01110101 01100011 01101011 01100101 01100100 00100000 01110101 01110000 00100000 01100100 01110101 01100011 01101011 00100001

      • @cj – – –

        4669667465656e206275636b7320666f722061206675636b6564207570206475636b3f2020596f75206d75737420626520612056412070726f637572656d656e74206f66666963657221

  4. Yeah, we have been here and done that a few times over with the VA and IT upgrades.

    Sometimes you just cannot help save a clusterfuck network called the VA.

    HP needs to fully realize the VA is not far from still using cans connected with string for their IT Network….the only problem is, the VA still hasn’t figured-out that the canned peas need to be emptied for the message to fully transmit and they are using spaghetti instead of sting.

    Welcome to the machine, the VA Clusterfuck Machine. It does not want to be fixed…it ONLY wants FED $$$.

    Rat Bastards! Dr. Shulkin- and you wonder WHERE you can find $$$ to fund CHOICE? HA-HA-HA….

  5. Sound’s like IT is, the/They’re best scam going, nothing but more thievery going on

    want to know where the rest of the tax dollars are going watch this…

    The Greatest Ongoing Financial Scam in Modern History ~ The CAFR Reports – YouTube

    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSR6o6pNSzI”

  6. Where did $543 million of taxpayers monies end up? I’ll bet/guarantee y’all most of it went into the pockets of H/P AND VA upper management.

    Why is it, when VA screws up and fucks the taxpayers, one of the first things they do is ask/beg for MORE taxpayers monies?
    And, then the first persons to get screwed are the disabled veterans they’re in charge of!
    I can see the writing on the wall come August and September (for the “fiscal year of 2018”). “Shithead Shulkin” will, more likely than NOT, take “compensations” away from veterans to pay for something else!
    At that time veterans and taxpayers better figure out what the hell they better get accomplished! -IF- it means marching on Washington to demand accountability at VA, then y’all might want to pack your bags!

    McDonald said, “You can’t fire your way to success!” I say “Bullshit! Yes, you can!” It’s now time for “Shithead Shulkin” to start firing incompetent and underperforming employees. And, IF they’re even suspected of misconduct, fire them as well!
    Only, we all know “Shithead Shulkin” won’t do that because he’s got himself a FAT cash cow he can fill his pockets, off shore accounts, with!
    He’s got that oil well out at the West Los Angeles, 338 acre land, pumping monies into his pockets. Or, the baseball field raking in monies!
    btw, Judicial Watch has AGAIN sued the VA over that property just last Friday (30 June 2017)!
    Oh, and let’s NOT forget about that “5 star hotel, Pershing Hall, in Paris, France” filling Shulkin’s pockets!
    How many other “sweet deals”, filling the pockets of our newly appointed Secretary of VA, do we NOT know about?
    It’s time VA, from Shulkin on down, to come clean about EVERY thing they’re involved in granting the VA monies!

      • ELF…The more I think about how fucked up the VA is,upper management like’s the chaos down below,,,# 1 in the playbook is distraction/diversion
        I used to read a lot of military manuals that’s what I call it today, forgot what they were really called, but I read also # 1 reason for war was depopulation I was young at the time and couldn’t wrap my head around that answer.. I read those in the 70’s

      • 2OLDMARINE – – – B-U-L-L-S-E-Y-E !!! Guess we must have read some of the same books.

      • James….I’m glad someone else read those, I must have read at least 10 of those hand books but the only one that stands out were those 2

    • @Crazy Elf – – – I absolutely agree that in the case of the VA, MASS FIRINGS should be used as a TOOL to help motivate the troops into taking care of veterans in the manner they should be taken care of. I also think in the case of certain management – – – Investigations followed by Extensive Polygraphs need to be conducted. If they fail – – – they are out. Just too damn much thievery, lying, and General Horse Fuckery going on at all levels . . .

      • Whoops! Forgot to mention – – – Those investigations will not have to meet the LEGAL standards required by U S Courts. They will only need to meet the “Veterans Standard of Honesty and Fair Play”. As Seymore Klearly has demonstrated time and again, there is no need for investigations to drag on for months and years.

        I think there are 5 to 10 guys on this blog who as a TEAM could change the course of the VA culture within two years – – – if only they were given the opportunity – – – and provided cover from the bullshit politics.

        Pay those team members 120K yearly. Then turn them loose. And let them kick serious ass.

      • @James Clement- Let’s officially call those ‘teams’ along military terms of FIRE TEAMS. The ‘weapon’ in this case would be the simple stroke of a pen. However, if they become stubborn or unruly, let loose the drug-seeking attack military German Shepherds. Those dogs are SURE to find something on each and everyone of these engorged pukes.

        Yeah, in a mood today.

      • @Nam – – – FIRE Teams, Aye! If it ever came to fruition – – – YOU would be one of the guys off this blog to be drafted. We’d use you as a “Wiper”, but it would NOT be wings you would be wiping . . .

        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • @James Clement- 🙂 “Wiper” 🙂 <—-That's exactly what toilet paper's job is, to wipe away your troubles down the drain….or was that the Rotorooter jingle? Anyway, as part of any "wiper team" I would gladly give it my best swipe. 🙂

      • @Nam – – – Actually glad you asked. The term Wiper in the Nav/MC can refer to a couple of different things.

        What I had in mind was this – – – I know you are a musician. And I like music. Ron Wilson and his group The Surfaris recorded one of my favorite tunes “Surfer Joe”. I apologized to Ron publicly for changing the words to fit the “Hines VA Cockroach Feast”.

        Thought you might be willing to join the team to play “Wipe Out”. Any ideas who we might want to “Wipe Out”?

  7. ELF….It’s time VA, from Shulkin on down, to come clean about EVERY thing they’re involved in granting the VA monies!…..That isn’t ever going to happen, no matter what, If they did the headline would read, sec. of the VA committed suicide, with two gun shot wounds to the back of the head…LOL…Got to protect/milk the sacred cow…..

  8. +OLDMARINE,

    I just finished watching the video. Your correct, the Sec. of VA would probably “…commit suicide with two bullets to the back of his head!” – lol. No big loss though!

    As I watched the video, One could say the VA IS a “separate corporation”. Hiding taxpayers monies FOR the VA upper management, starting with “Shithead Shulkin”!

    He used California, (plus, the “legalized gambling of the State Lottery Systems”), as an example on HOW the “scam” is played out over time.

    I do believe it’s time for ALL of America to wake the fuck up. Americans need to demand our government, from local municipalities, ALL the way up to our federal government to come clean on our “Taxation With(OUT) Representation” works!

    There’s also videos out claiming the governments, local up to federal, are going to take over individuals 401K’s and our savings accounts soon.
    There’s also videos out claiming the governments are “devaluating our currency”! Right now our “…dollar has lost almost 95%+ of its purchasing power since 1946!” source: “Forbes Magazine” and “The Wall Street Journal!” Two very respectfull financial magazines!

    Think about this. When the “Great Depression” of 1928 hit, its full impact was NOT felt until around 1932-33! Germany was in a worse decline than America. It was shown, through “news reels” of that era, where “…a loaf of bread cost a wheel barrel full of marks!” (The “Mark” was/is Germany’s currency)!
    And yet, through the “massive build up of Germany’s military”, they pulled themselves out of the depression BEFORE all other countries!

    I have a sneaky suspicion, America will see another “Great Depression”! All because our government’s officials are willing to NOT abide by the laws of our land! They have set themselves up as a separate, and unequal, entity! Their only existence is to become MORE powerful each year! To set up a “singular government” (New World Order) to “control ALL of humankind as their slaves!”

    As George Carlin said; “It’s called the American “Dream” because you have to be asleep to believe it!”

    • ELF…I’m glad you watched it, I wish everybody would, they might learn something….But most of them are still dreaming the American dream…LOL…And I’m going to post that one, on every one of BEN”S articles he put’s out ….I watch a lot of his videos, aplanetruth.info……And the older I get the old saying of, TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION, gets reinforced even more …… once people get there eye lids cracked open and you start wondering what else is a scam..Hmmmmmm NASA, another scam like the VA,. Go to the NASA web sight where they talk about the van allen belt and the guy says, when we figure a way to get trough it, you go Hmmmmmm again,. just another money pit like the VA…….My space suit is filling up with water, I got go drain it…

  9. Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never
    mention that part to us, do they? George Carlin.

    If it requires a uniform, it’s a worthless endeavor

    I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it. George Carlin

    The reason I talk to myself is that I’m the only one whose answers I accept.
    And this one is mine….THE SPACE PROGRAM IS IN BETWEEN YOUR EARS…LOL

  10. The article says that HP whined about 137 wi-fi points being non-operational. OK – that’s a $137,000 fix – what about the other half billion dollars?

    This shit is never supposed to work unless it is coincidental. These are engineered transactions. A company lobbies an agency, the agency writes an RFQ and tailors it to that favorite company. The deal is cut, someone in VA procurement/management gets a delayed reaction consulting deal with the company, shit doesn’t work, and it’s the VA’s fault.

  11. [email protected]

    Veterans Choice Program administered by Health Net Federal Services is a total 5+ Billion scam. I had the occasion to use the services and found them to be completely incompetent. After 3 months of dealing with them the professional I was to see has no relation with the VA because their services does not not get paid for by them for months so they pulled out. Now I am back to square one. My calls remained unanswered and nobody has a clue what to do. Reminds me on Obamba’s healthcare sign up computer system. I don’t think Trumps system is any better. The very same people that scared the system under Obamba are now working for Trump. Just another swamp…

  12. Great way to start the day, thanks for the video OLDMARINE.
    Fuck no, GI Joe/Jane, NO MONEY FOR YOU!!!!
    Why?
    Let’s see what’s behind:
    Door #1). Intentional incompetence! <—–No explanation necessary.
    Door #2). Look!! It's the wasteful spending incinerator!! Wooo whoo!!!
    Door #3). Gimme-mo-money-madness-merry-go-round.
    Door #4 -150, are under a perpetual, decreasing radius, construction program!

    Yeahhh, That's The ticket!!!

    • [email protected]

      and never any consequences

  13. Seems clear to me that the laws of physic just do not apply at the VA. So maybe we need to define the laws of physic for the VA to find a solution.

    Clearly VA physic shows that all measure of Accountability implemented at the VA Medical Facilities will be met with overwhelming counter measure to Accountability at the VA.

    Simple solution stop wasting money and shut down all VA Health Care Facilities.

    Time to get off the “if this don’t work then throw some more money at it” merry-go-round.

    • Problem is Seymore, NO ONE seems to be able to get them off that “…mo-money-merry-go-round!”
      And until it happens, we veterans and taxpayers get fucked HARD!

  14. Anything that would track and know where things are is counterproductive in the VA. Unless it’s like the 300tv’s. They were in boxes and the bar code was on the box. So when they stole them, they took them out of box $500,000,00.00, why can’t they sign for it coming in(responsible), and going out (responsible)? Ah, that word… responsible. Also, how much money could Dr. Shulkin get for that? I bet he’d get some. Save money and lives….Shut the VHA DOWN. They’re killing veterans before our time.

  15. I was a PM on this project, laid off in April 2016 when the project stalled at the same time that HPES was laying off in general in order to become DXC. I’m also a patient as a 30% disabled vet.

    Part of the tech problem and a large part of the contract problem was the choice of subcontractors. This was never a wide-open, competitively bid project that evaluated all technologies. Rather, the VA presented HPES a list of vendors, including set-aside categories for large and small businesses, disabled-veteran-owned businesses, and Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) companies — the last category is owned by women and/or minorities.

    On the large end, Centrac initially dumped a huge number of less-capable tags on HPES, even as the higher-dB-range chips were becoming available. We’ll never know, but Centrac may have simply bought up existing inventories at a discount as the newer tags were coming into the market. That initial wave of chips was installed, but is not as capable as the majority that are being installed now. BTW, as of mid-2016, neither the VA nor HPES/DXC were even working on a plan for battery management in the tags. This means that the earliest-installed tags from 2013 and 2014 will be hitting their five-year battery expirations starting in 2018, the new go-live date, and even while new tags (of a slightly different capability) are being installed. What a nightmare that will be.

    On the small end, the worst example among the six suppliers for this national project was a HUB that was actually a lone woman who had somehow made it through the contractor verification hurdles. This “business” was the sole source for a particular component from a worldwide manufacturer, for which she added no value as the middleman but added delay. She had no line of credit with the manufacturer, which the prime contractor (HPES) could not contact directly. This one-woman operation had to wait until one VISN’s check cleared through HPES for one shipment before she could order the next batch for the next hospital and the next VISN, usually only the same quantity given her inability to order more. Given the slowness of HPES and VA invoicing, this “vendor” fell months behind in supplying this national effort. (The component was the lowest-tech of all, the telescoping arms to hold monitors, without which it didn’t matter what RTLS technology was applied.)

    On the business side, the VA never designated and empowered a single, authoritative, informed champion in their ranks. This led to each VISN having different expectations of capabilities. The initial testing in Fargo, ND, was a nightmare. The VA was both rightfully demanding and didn’t accept hand-waving promises from HPES; and also unrealistically demanding, wanting a solution with capabilities that are still not realistic. There was no effective inter-VISN communication on the part of the VA, leading to more and more, unrealistic, out-of-scope demands from different sites and VISNs.

    The VA will end up with a vendor-specific, non-standard RTLS solution that will be a nightmare to maintain. It’ll be quietly taken down in about ten years.

  16. @IT Project Manager, guess you can see by most posts, we no longer trust the VA. This crap happens on a weekly basis. The VA steals, loses, wants more, blah blah blah. Oh, IT Guy, my clinic doesn’t have WiFi; or they just say they don’t. Why doesn’t one of these pukes come on and tell me how friendly VA is.

  17. IT Project Manager, I apologize for any derogatory comments towards you personally. Thank for the information on this fiasco. Bet no one but you knows about the batteries life.

    • I honestly don’t remember her name or the company name. I’ll dig through the virtual box and see if I can come up with the name.

      Not incidentally, one of the VA’s promises to small businesses is that they’ll be paid within 30 days of invoicing. The subcontractors would invoice HPES (prime contractor, me in this case), and I would submit through the HPES accounting team for their approval. Then I had to ask the VISN director to sign the acknowledgement of delivery, but in many/most cases, the VISN directors nationwide were terrified to put their name on something — even when the things had been installed, verified by the local team at the facility. Then the VA had to pay HPES, then HPES had to pay the small business.

      There were at least two months and frequently six months. When this ol’ gal complained to me about slow payments, she had half a point, but still, to enter a national contract by writing one personal check at a time is incredibly short-sighted on her part, and complete break-down of due diligence on the VA’s part to have approved her as a “business.”

  18. Forgot to mention: VA IT, as slow and ineffective as they are, did not support this project. Why? Initially, the VA leadership said that IT could use RTLS to track their property, which have millions of dollars of losses annually. IT was gung-ho, of course. Then VA leadership changed scope suddenly so that only medical equipment would be covered. That meant the project had to get in line for IT attention along with every printer request, new construction cabling, etc., and there was large resentment on the part of VA IT that they might be expected to support this project with no benefit to themselves. (One team, yeah.)

    The VA IT people themselves were astoundingly incompetent, for the most part. In conference calls with the IT supervisor in Dallas (largest or second-largest VA facility in the country, depending on measurement), this guy asked me, an unknown voice on the phone, how he should be configuring his network. He already had the requirements and suggested naming conventions to set up VPNs and such, probably one afternoon’s work. But over the course of a few weekly calls, *with his boss on the line*, it became clear that this supervisor was asking me for a network design from step 1. When this finally became clear on the third or fourth week, I was stunned. Worse, that his boss hadn’t addressed it immediately, and let the questioning go on. (I just said politely, “That is far beyond the scope of this particular project.” Then I couldn’t resist, and said the best corporate answer, “I can give you the phone number of the HPES sales division to get some consultants for you.”)

    This same loser, this IT supervisor, also could not tell me a definitive Yes or No whenever I tried to verify milestones — “Is this connected?” He actually was that stupid, probably illiterate, and I said that to my boss and my boss’ boss.

    In San Antonio, we just needed two printers connected in a remote area. This is perhaps five minutes’ work, not much more than connecting a new desktop printer for yourself. The seven-year VA IT employee really wanted to help us, but as he told us, “Nobody has ever showed me how to add a printer.” What could I say? I thanked him for his time, and had to escalate it through the VISN, just for two printers, which took a few weeks.

    • Sounds like you bruised that IT supervisor’s engorged purple team ego…you have knowledge, skills, thus a threat to that purple team gravy train. Can’t have that.

      The VA loathes and absolutely hates standardization of any kind. Why? Because the path of standardization leads to VA’s arch enemy and kryptonite called accountability.

      • Accountability — you just made a clear ringing sound by hammering that nail home. Of all the problems with this project — technical, business, etc. — lack of accountability on the VA was the worst of all. As I mentioned, nobody on the VA side had been tasked with championing the project, probably because they couldn’t find anybody to step up — if they even asked.

      • Not even Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso Of Truth could muster an ounce of accountability and truth from the VA.

        Also, at the VA they tend to just promote people to positions regardless of any qualifications and sadly, that even extends into the medical parts of VA, and the VA will even go as far to blame their contractors for the VA’s own ineptitude. An example of that was short of a decade ago I receive as part of a mass-mailing that since having dental work in a certain VAMC clinic and that Dr. and Dept. was not only NOT properly sterilizing equipment, but also going from open Veteran mouth to another’s with same bloody-assed dental instruments….the VA blamed the nomenclature/sterilization company for NOT properly teaching them how to sterilize medical equipment….meanwhile, all you Vets have to worry about all the hepatitis
        ‘s and HIV and more surprises down the pike.
        WTF?
        The VA rarely if ever admits fault to anything.

  19. Oh, they have had wifi for many years, don’t be deceived. It is something else I’m sure. Perhaps trying to get A&MM people to cooperate or perhaps it is the IT people in VAMCs. I’m not talking about the IT techs or the Supply Techs, I’m talking about management! They go back and forth about who will be responsible for this and that. People are always trying to pad that grade up. The VA is stuck in AMES/MERS’s dhcp zone and quite a few things live on there. Even though that system sucks out loud. I recall sending equipment inventory out to various departments in the VAMC in worked at and they would check it off and we would be done for a year. Well most of these departments would complain that they don’t have hardly anytime and why are they sending a medical person to do this and etc. I can’t tell you how many times we would go behind them and check for accuracy and the equipment isn’t where is was suppose to be. Or the data, including the equipment amounts were entered incorrectly or not at all. BME would have there stuff entered and A&MM would enter it so we would have duplicates… I’ve also seen where money has come down from the VISN during the end of September and instead of letting the money go back, I’ve seen the VAMC (management) order equipment that really wasn’t necessary at all! So many things… IG would come in and say this and that and the director would say “we’ll fix it” and that would never happen. I just got so annoyed at the whole situation. This is a system the VA was using since the late 80s! I just don’t see anything doing the trick for them at this stage. All that money spent on ideas that never come about, money spent on equipment that isn’t necessary, missing, or outdated by the time they get it, money spent to remodel and upkeep facilities built in the 30s. So much bleeding and they are putting bandaids on a wound that needs stitches.

  20. Crazy Elf, you’ve completely misapprehended my posts. You’re angrily trying to put words in my mouth. I thought some might appreciate the details. I’m certainly not defending the company that laid me off after a failed project (not a lot of “socking away” on unemployment compensation, dumbass), or the client (VA) that let the project fail and wasted our taxpayer money as well as a lot of personal energy. And don’t ever try to pull the “we’re veterans here” card on me, as I’m a patient of the VA health system myself.

    • Ok, let me put it another way, “IT Project Manager.
      BEFORE you were laid off in April, and yet, knew of all the screw-ups at, not only VA, but the company you worked for. How come you didn’t turn “Whistle-Blower”????
      Or, at the very least, contacting news outlets to let them know how your company and VA was screwing the taxpayers?????

      Your “expertise” and “experience” with computer systems would have been helpful to expose the corruption, waste, fraud and abuse at both entities, right.
      Yet, from your own words, that never happened. Why?

      This is exactly why I, or we, don’t trust some of the people who come on here!

  21. That NASA web sight is as bad as the VA’S, error 404 page has been moved, Yea just keep scrambling the shit around so you can’t find it…LOL….CGI picture’s are all you get, But don’t worry folks, were sending BUZZED up BUZZ ARMSTRONG to mars for a family reunion in 2120, and he’s going to take some real pictures , we’ll keep him on ice if we have to, and thats a promise from us, to you., good tax payers …..LOL…….

  22. I did tracking for a few different hospitals. There are several approaches. WiFi is not a valid excuse if there is a wired network infrastructure which can have APs or RFID readers added to key egress areas. Most hospitals have to have these things simply to meet Meaningful Use and basic HIPAA standards. How does any organization or institution claim to have workstation and device security without it?
    I was a consultant at HP once upon a time and it is a budget pig. I know some of you folks think off-the-shelf is the be-all end-all solution but in fact it isn’t if you don’t have accountability and ethics at least with Directors and CIO level. There are spend happy clowns that will buy the material then let it sit and collect dust for a year or two before unpacking it to even see if it works (way way after warranty to return the item has run out and often after obsolete of the tech involved.)
    I’m assuming this project should have been something as simple as Lo-Jack and some medical device subnetting with ping alerts?
    I could get it done in 4 years for 1/4 of that cost quoted assuredly but any cheaper then you might as well just assume the risks of losing devices to the kleptocracy.

    • DO you know the most MVP award man, that used to work there he is long gone also. I think I gave you enough hint without saying his name

      • Silver Fox loved those vendor sponsored steak dinners and accolades tell you what. Those Ruth Chris garlic mashed potatoes will turn any entry level project manager into an absurd unruly charlatan of IT.

    • “Kleptocracy” is a fancy way of calling it what it is: VA Employee Theft. The recent Washington, D.C. VAMC is a prime example of the right hand having absolutely no idea what the left is doing and all thumbs are up their asses.
      Poor IBM Watson must be in Technology Group Therapy after having to deal with likes of VA Mismanagement.

      To ANY Information Tech’s/Engineers: Just HOW then is the VA to do a mind-meld with the DOD’s computer systems? How does any organization start a project without ensuring all the basic operational hardware and structures are there?
      It would be like USAF Pilots of A-10 Fighters never checking to see if there’s an actual parachute or an ejection lever and skipping all checklists.

      What I am thinking is just like someone that’s an obsessive shopping network shopper, the VA just LOVES to spend $$$$….as long as it’s NOT on actual Veterans.

      • You nailed it on the head – they love to spend the $$$$ on stuff (rather than vets.)
        It’s ridonkulous to think the VA will automagikally suddenly convert all the EHR database files into the DOD hardened Cerner database files without completely going ghetto in the fields of record making it completely useless for analytics. They need to hire an army (pun intended) of health informatics specialists to re-train every brick & mortar site if they expect the conversion to be worth it after it actually (if) happens. Personally, I’m not impressed with Cerner though it may be something possibly better than the sea of disparate systems currently used.

      • @Todd Adams- This also begs to question the VA’s aptitude to even protect our rather sensitive medical AND military records. Does the DOD *really* want to be infected with the concentrated incompetence virus the VA is infected with?

        What I DO suspect is since the VA just loves to spend $$$ on “stuff”, is each of the VA AFGE engorged purple teams all received free brand new tablets and maybe as far as iPads and Windows systems with a scattering of Linux…and nobody can communicate with each other because of operating systems and such…so the engorged employees now use the devices and tech for personal use. Wait for it…

    • Workstation and device security, lack thereof, was a VA problem that this project exposed. That is, many sites were not at all in compliance with existing requirements for security, such as a PIV card reader. As we were having workstations installed, our schedule suffered because of the very late work on upgrading existing systems that came to light.

      Regarding approaches, this was IR-based. The design was done by a few individuals for one of our subcontractors, who took the money and ran. After that, nobody ever owned the underlying design, neither in HPES or in the VA. We had sys architects by title, of course, but even they were working with inherited designs from 2012-ish.

      From a leadership POV, there was no stability. it was during this project that HP first split into two entities (HP Enterprise Services – HPES – and “plain” HP who continued making hardware.) Then 18 months later, HPES merged with CSC to become DXC, who now own the project.

      The Sterilization and Cath Lab components proceeded more-or-less on track, although they were about 1/6 each of the project. (Sterilization and Cath Labs are only located at about three or four hospitals of the 10-12 facilities in a VISN, serving the other hospitals in a hub-and-spoke arrangement.) The RTLS portion, the main portion, is now proceeding, but see above my comments about different types of tags, some of which will start experiencing battery expirations just as the solution is officially coming on line in 2018.

  23. UN-WHO calls for Worldwide Drug Use Decriminalization
    by javalizard

    American Media Silent After UN Just Called for Decriminalizing Drug Use Worldwide One year after ignorantly doubling down on the drug war, the UN is now calling to end prohibition. The drug war is crumbling. By Justin Gardner July 4, 2017 A little-noticed public statement issued by the United Nations last week contains […]

  24. More about this project — wait, there’s more — the sterilization work exposed that the VA has no idea how much inventory they have. The subcontractor bid on wildly high instrument quantities, estimated by the VA, that was usually more than double the finally provided stock (i.e., 80K instruments estimated, 20K-30K actually located over a couple of weeks and presented for marking.) At more than one site, the director just gave up and said “I have no idea how to find all this stuff listed in VistA, much less organize it and provide it for etching.”

    • That last sentence should be etched in gold backwards, then hot branded into the forehead of every single Director.

      No truer words have ever been spoken by a VAMC, or VARO, Director, since the day an egg popped out of a chicken’s ass, and the very first Director said “Hmm, I wonder what that tastes like”

    • Curious if that 80k is equal to the number of serial #’s on that amount of equipment received or if it simply is a duplication of several same orders of same equipment which showed up at differing loading docks throughout the year to eventually get unpacked and settled. HP surely wouldn’t use slight of hand, right?

  25. @Todd Adams, that 80K (common number at hub hospitals, smaller hospitals estimated 20K-30K) represented received stock on hand (VistA), plus their estimate of what they would acquire in the coming year. They were supposed to use VistA inventory counts plus local memory and best guess. Each individual instrument was to get a unique bar code so to be read by RTLS. You probably know that etching was for instruments too small or too fragile to have a tracking tag attached.

    In general, the project goal was to track anything worth $50 or more, and/or vital to patient care, and/or as designated by local authorities. The larger stuff was usually not far off from estimates, but it was these small/fragile items that were simply not to be found.

  26. Oh, and another story from this project: of our eight subcontracted site managers, two were stars, most were mediocre, and we were moving to fire one outright. I had built a case with oodles of documentation, and my chain of command was in agreement. Then the stop-work order came. Guess who went to work for the VA after that, of those eight people? Yep, the very worst guy, who was on the verge of being relieved. He’s in Biomed, where I hope he’s not doing too much harm.

  27. Stealing a veteran’s Hawg from the VA Parking Lot. How low can you go?

    “http://fox59.com/2017/07/05/veteran-says-his-motorcycle-was-stolen-while-he-was-being-treated-at-va-hospital/”

    • That could easily take place any day and time at the newer Columbus, OH VAMC because it’s smack-dab surrounded by one of the worst hoods and rife with criminal thuglets.

      The only thing protected is VA employee parking, which of course, is all around and closest to the building…parking for disabled vets is way-off and not even patrolled….but by god, you best not dare park in VA employee parking.

      • @cj @Namnibbor – – – Well that really stinks! If so high-risk, shouldn’t the veterans have “protected”parking as well? Sure hope those security tapes show something helpful to that young man. My wife and I had our Hawg stolen May Day of 1997 from Kelly’s Donuts parking lot at Puuloa Rd and Nimitz Hwy. Nice FLHR.

        Fortunately, Progressive Insurance was on the ball (at that time) and we were able to get it replaced before riding it in our wedding on June 6th that year at South Seas Harley in Waipahu. Still was down a few thou over what they did not cover that was in the saddlebags.

        But did not stop the wedding!

  28. @OLDMARINE, I can’t say I enjoyed your selection for the day, but I can say, it’s too much information. And, it fits what everyone in America feels in many ways. So, it’s not just Veterans. Thank you very much. Keep putting the stuff you are putting out there. More will come…..

    • Some times, I have to put a little humor of mine in it, to keep me sane..LOL…can’t sleep might as well search and see what pop’s…

  29. +”IT Project Manager,
    I asked this question earlier this morning.

    With all the information you uncovered while working at HP for VA, until your “layoff in April”,
    “How come you didn’t turn Whistle-Blower?”

    Your experience and expertise in the “IT field” would have been invaluable to expose the corruption, waste, fraud and abuse. Not only within your company, but also within the VA!!!!!

    By your own admission, or lack thereof, you kinda skirted around that issue (whistleblower status). Plus, you gave lots of information on what you know happened at both entities!

    Now do you understand why I don’t trust people who come on here and give all kinds of information on the “corruption, waste, fraud and abuse” – and do NOTHING about it!
    We’ve had VA employees come on here and tell about all the horrendously acts committed against veterans. When they’re asked WHY they haven’t said anything, their replies are all the same; ie:
    “I didn’t want to lose my job!”
    Or,
    “I’ve got a family, how will I support them, if I lose my job?”
    We then would ask, “How many veterans died under the care of some incompetent physician, and you said NOTHING?”
    Or,
    “How many veterans became addicts because you said NOTHING?”
    Or,
    “How many veterans were screwed out of their VA rights, and you said NOTHING?”

    Shall I go on?
    Yea, I’m in that mood today. All because we’ve heard this “IT” shit of squandered taxpayers monies before!

    • @Crazy elf- There you go again riding the same brainwave as mine, I was *just* going to post same question about why not turning whistleblower *before* being layoff?
      Otherwise, it kinda makes it appear he has a serious case of the ‘whines’ and a case of sour grapes. 🙂

      • @namnibor,
        Yea, you noticed that as well! Seems to be a continuing problem with people who “see the problems” yet, do NOTHING about it!
        “IT Project Manager” could have been a real eye opener for the taxpayers and disabled veterans!

      • Oh, and namnibor, too fucking bad we didn’t ask that question yesterday when “IT Project Manager”, on a number of comments, was lambasting some of us then!

        Plus, my wife agrees with you on his “whining”! LOL!

    • @Crazy Elf – – – All good points you make. Although in IT Project Manager’s view, I do not have the reading comprehension to effectively participate in this blog . . .

      And I noticed he did not leave you out of the “intentionally misleading my words” loop as well.

      What a freakin’ miserable little troll . . .

      • @James Clement: This entire page was beyond my reading comprehension.
        I didn’t see the obvious, but Crazy elf made it crystal clear in his post’s today.

        Thank you Crazy elf.

  30. Mattis: North Korea Missile Launch Doesn’t Bring US Closer To War
    By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
    on July 6, 2017

    North Korea’s launch of a missile capable of striking parts of the U.S. doesn’t bring the two nations closer to war, Defense Secretary James Mattis said July 6, even as President Donald Trump warned he was considering “pretty severe things” in response.

    “I do not believe this capability in itself brings us closer to war,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. He added that U.S. “self-restraint” had prevented conflict and that “diplomatic efforts remain underway.”

    His comments appeared aimed at clarifying that the U.S. was not considering military action in response to the missile launch.

    • @OLDMARINE – – – Best news if true! That means my Kim Chi supply line from the Southside should remain intact for a bit longer. Although I do have my doubts about ANY words coming out of a modern military mans mouth . . .

      Not like the days when I was running with Wesley Fox and Hammerin’ Hank Mauz. Hammerin Hank began his naval career as an E-1 – – – then retired a Four-Star. Brown Water Navy, then Blue. Best afloat skipper I ever had. Quite sure you know the name Wesley Fox . . .

  31. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out who this puppet works for…C

    Who The Hell Is Oscar Perez, Venezuela’s Trick-Shooting, Grenade-Tossing, Would-Be Liberator?
    By Danny Leffler
    on July 6, 2017

    On July 5, the people of Venezuela awoke to yet another chapter in the bizarre saga of Oscar Perez, seasoned policeman, action movie hero, and, depending on whom you ask, either an armed revolutionary fighting to topple the government of socialist strongman Nicolas Maduro or a puppet for the regime disguised as an insurgent.

    Perez achieved global stardom on June 27 when he launched an aerial attack on Venezuela’s Interior Ministry and Supreme Court, lobbing grenades and firing rounds from the cockpit of a stolen police helicopter. In a video claiming responsibility for the attack, Perez vowed to fight “the impunity imposed by” Venezuela’s government. And as if his international debut didn’t capture enough attention, he’s just released a sequel, doubling down on his call for a popular uprising.

    • @OLDMARINE – – – Wonder if he could be persuaded to “inspect” the Honolulu VA? Seems like he knows how to provide “valuable training”.

      Something a few people working there could use. They seem to be a wee bit confused as to just what the reason is they have those jobs . . .

  32. Today is Friday.
    What will be the next abhorrent act VA Secretary “Shithead Shulkin” lay on us today?
    What other surprise has he in store for veterans?
    Will he claim PTSD is a fraudulent disability veterans are receiving competition for?
    Will he take wheel chairs away from veterans?
    Will he take away our clinics and incompetent physicians in order to pay for the “NO Choice Program”? (That might be good thing!)
    Will he kick veterans out of “assisted living facilities” to pay for the next “IT” fix or the “NO Choice Program”?
    Will he “cut off monies to the survivors program” to pay for some “bullshit pet project” he wants paid for?

    So many questions and no fuckin answers!

  33. “Veterans Affairs Sued After Police Cuffed Protesting Veteran”
    Photo of Jonah Bennett
    Jonah Bennett
    National Security/Politics Reporter
    8:14 AM 07/06/2017
    Daily Caller

    “Judicial Watch is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs after police officers allegedly violated a veteran’s constitutional rights by cuffing and stuffing him into a police car.

    In a statement issued Wednesday, Judicial Watch announced it filed a suit against VA police officers and officials over the arrest of Robert L. Rosebrock, who has protested the VA for not making use of land to solve the veteran homelessness problem.

    Rosebrock, a veteran himself, has protested the VA on a public sidewalk on almost every Sunday afternoon since early 2008. According to Rosebrock, the VA should be making much better use of the 388-acre lot it possesses to provide homes for veterans, rather than allowing the land to be used as a baseball stadium for UCLA and a dog park, among other uses.

    The text of the complaint states that on June 12, 2016, VA police handcuffed Rosebrock and pushed him into a police car, also confiscating his cameras in the process. Officers took his cameras in a separate incident on June 19, 2016.

    For Judicial Watch, the VA’s actions clearly violated Rosebrock’s constitutional rights.

    “Bob Rosebrock, a 75-year-old veteran, faced unlawful arrest and a retaliatory prosecution for holding the VA to account,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “This VA bureaucracy has gone wild. Hopefully, Bob’s lawsuit and the new VA accountability law will help to restore common sense to the VA and ensure our veterans are treated with respect.”

    The suit is asking for damages and to block further violations of Rosebrock’s rights. Moreover, the suit wants the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles to declare that the VA’s interpretation of a law used to prohibit photography is invalid.

    Rosebrock was acquitted in April of illegally placing an American flag on the fence of a VA facility.”

  34. “VA to make public all employee firings”
    By: Leo Shane III, July 7, 2017 10:28 CST
    Military Times

    “WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials on Friday announced plans to publicly list firings and demotions for any department employee as part of their pledge to bring more accountability to the bureaucracy.

    In a statement, VA Secretary David Shulkin said the move shows that his department is focused on both improving veterans’ care and providing greater transparency into government operations.

    “Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what we’re doing to hold our employees accountable and make our personnel actions transparent,” he said. “Posting this information online for all to see, and updating it weekly, will do just that.”

    All of the information will be posted on the website of the department’s new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, which was stood up this spring to monitor enforcement of VA employment rules and suggest additional changes to workplace disciplinary actions.”

    New Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Website at:
    “https://www.va.gov/accountability/”

    Current posting of fires and adverse actions against employees. “https://www.va.gov/accountability/Adverse_Actions_Report.pdf”

    Alot of people losing their jobs at the VA. Really have to check out the list in the link above!!!

    • @Seymore Klearly – – – Checked out the second link. The problem I see is the scarcity of specific information. Any VA employee could tabulate that list by making shit up, then post it. Vast majority of veterans would have no way to know if it were true or not.

      Now I am sure the whiners will cite “Privacy Laws” – – – but why not publish their names? Would make it much easier for veterans to verify.

      Just sayin. Seem to me it is just another VA Smokescreen.

      • Oh I do agree that they should be publishing the names. But I do not think they are just making the list up out of the air.

        It would be sweet see their names though and can you image how it would affect their futures. I mean fired from the Veterans Administration on their records.

      • Yeah. Well, they make so much other stuff up – – – that I have to wonder. . .

        Think how beneficial those published names would be to the veterans in this scenario:

        I have an appointment with my ophthalmologist on the 27th of the month. The list get updated today, and I see that my Ophthalmologist has been fired as of yesterday. Honolulu, as regards those kind of specialists ain’t that big of a town. . .

        And I am sure you can easily see where this goes from here WRT scheduling, coordination, timely communication etc. . .

        While I do think the document needs serious improvement, that falls on the VA Accountability Office.

        I will Thank You for passing me one more round to load into my magazine. You can never have too much ammo . . .

    • Whole lot of dingle berries being cut lose from the cheeks of the VA.

      Attorneys, Physicians, nurses, Claim processors, and of course some gardeners, police chiefs, and kitchen staff.

      26 Pages of about 30 adverse to employees per page since Trump took office. Most of them are firings.

  35. Ben suggests it is time for VA to begin to focus on what they are supposed to do.

    That got me to thinking. This blog has a unique perspective given the format and in fact ostensibly exists because VA has not done what is supposed to do for generations. In fact, I bet my left nut that 99.99% of VA employees cannot recite even 5% of what VA is legally required to do in every circumstance with any sort of legal accuracy. These people are mostly children enthralled with a shiney iPhone in the palm of their hands, and cat fighting over some insensitive remark regarding toenails overheard in the john. The cognitive capacity of most VA front line folks might indeed rival and exceed that of many invertabrates in general, but among homo sapiens many similarities cease altogether at the opposable thumb when compared to others.

    These people are not the brightest candles on the cake and the world class service they tout refers to third world standards minus the bone nose ring (mostly) and drum music. As a former user of LSD I can attest that I have had more meaningful and beneficial conversations with rocks and brick walls than I generally have experienced with most VA employees owing mostly to the fact that rocks NEVER tell me that they have to check with a supervisor first to see if it is ok to be a rock and behave accordingly.

    Ben, perhaps the problem is that we have a group that cannot think outside the box the Twinkees came in and instead of laying out what they “should do” we instead need to focus on what they “should not do”. Currently we tell the children, “Only take a cookie when you need it.” Before you judge VA try this on your kids or grandkids; see if they too have trouble managing the cookie supply lolz! This is pure VA! A better method is give the kid a cookie when you think they deserve it.

    VA has consistently emptied the cookie jar at the speed of oh shit for generations. VA keeps coming back with all sorts of reasons there are no more cookies. Shulkin now says, “Gosh I guess we ate those cookies pretty fast again. I think it is best if we no longer put IT cookies in the jar, just the other ones… We can do better.”

    We toss cookies in to get vets the comp they earned, yet the jar is empty.
    We toss cookies in to tend to sick vets, yet the jar is empty.
    We toss cookies in for homeless vets, yet the jar is empty.

    So what is it that VA should NEVER be allowed to do? Simple: they should NOT ever take any cookies from the jar. VA should be stripped of direct spending authority.

    VA must be stripped internally of any power to make monetary transactions external to VA. They should ONLY be allowed to requisition needed supplies from a central warehouse authority common to all federal agencies. The mission of VA simply is not, nor ever has been “sound fiscal purchasing decisions made by business majors and entrpenuers”. We are expecting folks whose skill sets include cleaning vomit, blood, and feces up from stinky moaning bodies and slicing and dicing those same folks up in search of a cure to be able to figure out how to efficiently outsource for tongue depressors??? My God, they can’t even get corpses in the ground before they liquify or even get a godamn chicken dinner cooked and we expect this Einsteinian collection of oxygen converters to conduct a massive IT overhaul???

    VA needs to be stripped of all budgetary decsisions and instead VA must be implemented as a purely clerical delivery of services at the final point of delivery. In other words VA, I have a simple to understand VA Directive; “You show up for work, use what you find there, and do your fucking job. Clean up the vomit, blood, and shit and cook the chicken and clock out at the end of your shift. Supervisors will determine at the end of the day if the chicken was cooked and all the gross stuff is cleaned up, and if so will give you permission to return the next day.” It is called VA Directive One.

    We can delete ALL OTHER VA Directives and implement just this one. See where it goes. See if America keeps tossing cookies over VA.

    • @Dennis. Agreed. Well written (as usual), although to veterans of my generation “tossing cookies” has a particularly negative connotation. Vomitus in medical jargon.

      There are endless things about VA that make me want to toss my cookies.

      Good to see you back!

      • Remember to call your Senators and Representative tell your Belief how come President Trump is spending on more money on Wall for illegal immigrants than improving Veterans Healthcare.

      • [email protected]

        build the fucking wall. There are other things they can get the money from. Food stamps, abortion clinics. Money to all the countries that have no love for us and so on

  36. @SeymoreKlearly, one long sentence in today’s post just confused me a tad. It begins patting themselves and leads into; good faith settlement negotiations where required by third parties but will look to settle with employees only when they clearly have been wronged or when settlement is otherwise in Veteran’s and taxpayers best interest and not as a matter of ordinary business. Huh? Welcome back Dennis, hopefully your time away was great. Anyway, SK, I am not getting that whole sentence.. Thanks

  37. RISE AND SHINE VETERANS ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A DISABLED VETERAN PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE TO TELL YOUR BELIEF HOW YOU HOW TO VETERAN HEALTH CARE PLUS SPREAD THE WORD TO VETERANS THAT DON’T GET ON HERE EVEN CONTACT BENJAMIN KRAUSE TELL HILL THE SAME. SEMPER FI

  38. Rise and Shine Veterans especially Disabled Veterans who is 100 percent service connected definitely need to get G4 implants from Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist knows how to put G4 implants but their is not one has a contract with Veteran Affairs Admistation but their Private Clinics knows how to put G4 implants wants to all the money up front from Veteran Affairs Admistation does anyone know should bug My Senators and Representative try to convince Senators and Representative to convince the Senators and Representatives who is on the Board of Veteran Affairs Committee passed a Disabled Veterans Benefit who is 100 percent service connected definitely need to get G4 implants for free even if the Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist knows how to put G4 implants wants all the money up front ….so please who reads I am right or wrong for trying my firm as a Veteran….if you Benjamin Krause if you Monitor this webite can answer my firm belief. …Semper Fi.

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