VA FAIL: Another $500 Million IT ‘Failure’ For Veterans Affairs

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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/

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James Clement
James Clement

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

COMEMERDIAVA.COM
COMEMERDIAVA.COM

THE VA DC HQ IA THE TITANIC SHIP ITS GOING DOWN asap @ we vets are arguing onvever the color of the rugs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRESS DECLRE VA AS FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET @ SHUT IT ALL DOWN ASAP ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

James Clement
James Clement

@COMERDIAVA – – – Hmm. I agree with you as usual. You remind me of another great poster and PATRIOT.

VETSFORVETS@YMAIL.COM

congress is toothless @ gutless congress is doing a dog @ pony show MR TRUMPER GO AFTER VA DC HQ ASAP @ SHUT IT DOWN UNER FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKETS LAWS ASAP VA DC HQ IS BEYOND REPAIR VA BUDGET FOR 2018 WILL BE 186 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ THE VA DC HQ SEWAGE RATS ARE DOGS IN HEAT TO STEAL MOST OF THE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ SO VETS CAN JUST DIE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anthony OConnell
Anthony OConnell

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

Jo3n
Jo3n

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.

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

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.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

DO YOU WORK FOR HP IF YES HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE.?

namnibor
namnibor

@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….

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

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!

James Clement
James Clement

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

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

@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.

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

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.”

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

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.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

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. !!!

James Clement
James Clement

@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 . . .

namnibor
namnibor

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

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

James Clement
James Clement

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

0100011101101111001000000100011001110101011000110110101100100000010000010010000001000100011101010110001101101011

cj
cj

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

James Clement
James Clement

@cj – – –

4669667465656e206275636b7320666f722061206675636b6564207570206475636b3f2020596f75206d75737420626520612056412070726f637572656d656e74206f66666963657221

cj
cj

But I don’t wanna be an ocifer 🙁

James Clement
James Clement

@cj – – – We’ll let you slide T-H-I-S time. 🙂 🙂 🙂

namnibor
namnibor

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….

namnibor
namnibor

$500,000,000. is a LOT of canned peas.

namnibor
namnibor

Only problem is, VA Procurement mistakenly purchased canned pee instead of peas.

“You can’t fix stupid”–F. Gump

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

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”

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

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!

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

ELF…You need to watch that video I posted, It explains a lot….The VA is just pocket money…

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

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

James Clement
James Clement

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

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

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

James Clement
James Clement

@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 . . .

James Clement
James Clement

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.

namnibor
namnibor

@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.

James Clement
James Clement

@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
James Clement

Dammit! Finger-Slip! Hope your mood improves.

namnibor
namnibor

@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. 🙂

James Clement
James Clement

@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”?

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

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…..

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

+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!”

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

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…

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

should have been through not trough

Lem
Lem

Love sticking Wall Street hands in taxpayers’ pockets.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

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

Windguy
Windguy

There’s a reason they call it the American Dream – because you have to be asleep to believe it.

Windguy
Windguy

oops

Windguy
Windguy

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.

touchavet@gmail.com

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…

cj
cj

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!!!

touchavet@gmail.com

and never any consequences

cj
cj

Haven’t seen Dennis lately, hope he just got into some goooood puff n stuff, and is doing well.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

cj ..I think he mentioned a family reunion over the 4th

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

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.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

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!

Jo3n
Jo3n

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.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

I’m just tired, of being sicken tired of this shit. Shumbody needs an ass whooping. – – – Nutter.

James Clement
James Clement

@ANutterVet – – – Shithead Shulkin should be the first Shumbody.

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

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.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

SOUND”S LIKE THAT WOMAN THAT WAS HOLDING UP PROGRESS WAS PROBABLY RELATED TO SOMEONE ON THE INSIDE,

Jo3n
Jo3n

@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.

Jo3n
Jo3n

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.

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

Jo3n, I didn’t see any derogatory remarks towards me, but thanks for being polite.

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

No derogatory remarks from you, to be precise.

Jo3n
Jo3n

And, who was this woman? Company name?

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

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.”

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

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.

namnibor
namnibor

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.

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

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.

namnibor
namnibor

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.

Homer Conley
Homer Conley

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.

IT Project Manager
IT Project Manager

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.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

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!

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

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…….