This one goes into the “are you flipping kidding me” file.
It sounds like VA is ready to jump back on that expensive horse taxpayers call “government contracting” in an effort to build another electronic data system. Should it?
Yes, VA contracting has continually backed the wrong horse in almost every single electronic system development process for the past ten years.
Yes, VA still has not figured out how to unify its health care system with DoD’s after spending over $1 billion with no concrete plan only to finally give up.
Yes, VA has still not given veterans a fully functional GI Bill processing website after spending twice what it originally told Congress when it decided to reinvent the wheel rather than merely buying a Goodyear and calling it a day.
Yes, VA continues to lag well behind data privacy standards in its failure to protect veteran data from hackers as recently as last week.
Yes, VA continues to have problems with its VBMS electronic claims system for disability compensation claims causing a shut down this week.
Any, yes, VA continues to look a gift horse in the mouth only to spend way more than planned, fail, and then jump back on to blow more taxpayer money.
Despite its obvious inability to back the right horse for practically every electronic [insert failed project name here] program ever conceived, VA has decided to give it one last go.
It’s like a failed relationship where parties can’t seem to figure out they aren’t meant to be together, over and over and over.
According to Nextgov.com, VA has entered its next stage of electronic systems for Veteran Health Information and Technology. VHA plans to find a contractor that will successfully complete a project involving software.
Here’s what Congress had to do with the tax dollars to hopefully guarantee that VA will actually do what it says it will do and not totally screw up the process like it did with DoD and the Vista system integration mentioned above:
Congress provided the VA with $251.9 million for VistA Evolution in the 2014 omnibus budget signed by President Obama Jan. 17, but limits spending to 25 percent of Funds allocated until 25 percent of the VistA Evolution budget until the VA describes to Congress how it will adhere to data standards defined by IPO, which has lacked a full time director since last fall.
Like a sixteen year old teen hoping to get a car for doing well in school, Congress has chosen to only allocated the deposit for said metaphoric car until VA is able to describe how it will stay in budget. Good luck with that.
In the mean time, don’t spend it all at once, boys!