VA Sweetheart Booz Allen Given Part Of $22 Billion Contract
There is no surprise that Veterans Affairs government contracting sweetheart Booz Allen Hamilton was selected as part of the $22 billion IT solution project for MyVA.
Veterans Affairs is transforming into its “MyVA” version of itself, whatever that means. To get there, it will pay $22.3 billion under its Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation (T4NG) acquisition program. It will last ten years.
BOOZ ALLEN CONTRACT T4NG
According to a press release, “Booz Allen will provide IT infrastructure modernizations and systems delivery support to the VA’s IT systems that address some of the VA’s top priorities, including improving the efficiency of both claims processing and Veterans’ overall experiences when communicating with VA.”
So what exactly does that mean? Will all VA’s computer programs suddenly work right at the end of the 10-year period?
Now, now one should be surprised that Booz won this contract. In fact, Booz Allen is almost always awarded contracts by VA even at a premium beyond what other contractors are paid.
Booz was in the mix under the previous IT contract called T4 that cost American taxpayers a pretty penny. No doubt those services brought us the dysfunctional eBenefits portal and other not quite working right type systems.
Think we will get our money worth this time? Or is this system more about generating new contracts and payouts than it is actually providing benefits to veterans?
These IT contracts seem more about keeping government contractors employed than getting things right the first time.
Booz Allen explains its company background as:
“Booz Allen Hamilton has been at the forefront of strategy and technology for more than 100 years. Today, the firm provides management and technology consulting and engineering services to leading Fortune 500 corporations, governments, and not-for-profits across the globe. Booz Allen partners with public and private sector clients to solve their most difficult challenges through a combination of consulting, analytics, mission operations, technology, systems delivery, cybersecurity, engineering, and innovation expertise.
“With international headquarters in McLean, Virginia, the firm employs more than 22,500 people globally, and had revenue of $5.27 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015.“
With all this money floating around, it sure would be great if someone could finally fix VA rather than treat these contracts like sweet corporate handouts. No?
The real problem is Accenture Federal was awarded part of the contract. Accenture Federal purchased AgileX and it was AgileX that did not complete the work on various software applications; and what they did ‘complete’ does not work. There is much more to what goes on at the VA than what I can reveal, but to blame Booz is completely ignorant. The real issues start with the Federal employees making the IT decisions and their constant shifting of those decisions; the next issue is the typical incomplete Requirements definition; another issue is the VA’s IT systems network; another issue is how the contracts are written. Booz Allen is not the problem.
Processing time was cut in half by 5 years of forced OT, not any genius IT process. Most of the RO’s in the country didn’t start using VBMS until after the backlog was reduced. Again due to forced OT. Government shut down? nope, you;re working. And not gettign paid. So when every other non LE Federal employee was enjoying a break that they got back pay for, we dumb schmucks continued processing claims with no back pay. Which is good because we WERE DOING OUR FUCKING JOBS. Brute force not smarts. You wonder why the backlog is growing again? The NWQ. Shitty software (engineered by this company at what at last count was nearing a $ Billion (not including this contract) coupled with a process of non-accountability that would be solved by cradle to grave claims processing, like every other government entitlement benefit system (SSA, IU, Worker’s Comp-you know, the true professionals in medical disability processing). VA employees are not anti Veteran for the most part, but when the battle cry goes out to “Serve The Veterans!” and it’s backed by a claims processing and storage system that was built more for manipulating data that is fed to the oversight committees in congress and the press vs allowing employees to efficiently and effectively process a claim…. It becomes more a “cover my ass because our software and policy and procedures suck” vs serving Veterans. But here’s the deal, the US taxpayers deserve a lot more too. They just go along with this inefficiency because it would be politically incorrect to question “Veterans’ Benefits”. This is what the leadership at VBA has been hiding behind for over a decade. Instead of completely rewriting the rating manual and updating the code that was written in 1947, they just keep asking congress for more cash and congress keeps giving. The argument is mismanagement of Government funds, not are Veterans getting what they deserve. VBA needs an enema. Only then can ALL parties be served well with reasonable Veteran benefits, cost effective policies and procedures and employee pride in getting those benefits to the Veterans who deserve them and denying benefits to those who don’t. That brings HONOR back into a system that is run amok. But WTF do I know? I’m just taking a guess, like most everyone in this post.
You speak the truth about VBA. You say for the most part employees are there for veteran’s. As a layman this is telling me, that in VBA there are employees that will do wrong to veteran’s.
This has been going on for decades. My question is this, why is the VBA denying so many claims. Don’t they know for everyone denied treatment is denied and could cause serious harm to those veterans.
In my case I was denied over and over, where the VBA kept telling me, that my military record’s were distroyed in the Saint Louis fire in may of 1973 and I was discharged in October of 1973.
I had to suffer with PTSD and a Traumatic brain injury for 40 year’s because of their denial. Without treatment I did not know that I suffered a Traumatic brain injury.
I hired an attorney and all of a sudden the rater quotes the shooting from my military record’s.
I won my case with the help of an attorney ! And only because he was an attorney. Why would a VBA employee, laugh out loud over the phone, when he was asked about me receiving all my back pay from when I first applied.
He laughed and then stated you would have received all of your back pay, but you did not keep fighting and let it lapse.
So the VBA lied about My military record’s being distroyed and me not knowing they were lying !
Is it common practice for the VBA to deny veteran’s claims using this tactic, in order not to pay those veterans.
You can tell the truth, it has to be brought into the open. No veteran should have to suffer and be denied their deserved disability.
Is this common practice ?
You sound like you care about veteran’s, we can use your help !
This is for all veteran’s, they have passed the law, where all federal employees can be fired.
This is a great day for veteran’s and citizen’s of the united states. Those found committing felony, will be fired by the Secretary if evidence is provided.
There is a lot more to this and VA employees that have harmed veteran’s. Will now have to pay the piper.
This over rides the union and employees that have been harmed by other employees will see relief, along with veteran’s.
Someone finely said Enough is Enough. !
I’m so damb happy ! Time for employees to be brought to justice !
It’s super weird. Booz Allen starts being awarded VA contracts, and the time until disability claims are completed is cut in half. It’s almost as if you idiots have no idea what you’re talking about.
@Ben: “Think we will get our money worth this time?”
@Ben: “Or is this system more about generating new contracts and payouts than it is actually providing benefits to veterans?”
yes, of course.
compare previous implementations of VA IT projects, money awarded to, the final costs, completion of roll-outs, etc. compare to current VA IT status, return on investment(s), satisfaction metrics, etc.
how many previous VA IT projects have their been across the board? none of them have worked too well at fixing many issues weighing down on veterans have they? did your appt time frame lesson? nope. did your claims processing get more efficient? nope. did appeals claims get processed faster and more accurately? nope. did your VA doctor start favoring accurate diagnosis vs the all too familiar “personality disorder” laid upon the unsuspecting veteran? nope? did VA accountability come into existence with previous VA IT projects. nope
oh wait, those are more likely NOT IT problems those are HUMAN problems created by the VA management thuggery culture and hande down from union ivory towers that permeates all of VA. unions are good and important up to a point, but this one is more like its own dictorial country as untouchable as, [?], well, the reader can fill in there…
and in 10 years, what then? IT technology changes vectors every six months or less(I’m conjecturing). oh wait, i see, mo’ billions will be needed to roll out a new IT project to fix this one. how many veterans are waiting on legit claims, that have already been in the bin for a handful of years, we can’t be foolish enough to think THIS new VA IT is gonna help with that are we?
do we foolishly believe this new VA IT project will have its lines of code quality assured to favor the veteran? you know, like Title 38 states. nope that isn’t going to happen either.
considering all the negative metrics the Congress and VA have amassed from veterans over the years none of the real core issues have been fixed. plenty of band-aids and great if one needs a flu shot or broken finger set. go beyond that into the areas of service connected disability and good luck doesn’t even apply. and no where do we see Congress or VA wanting to correct that.
Congress and VA will never “fix” the issue of claims or VA doctor’s actually correctly diagnosing veterans due to the money that would be rightfully owed the veteran.
it will take a POTUS executive order or whatever these things are called to change culture at VA to favor the veterans. or something like that. the lobbies and politicians have us last in line. we cost money and are expendable, make no mistake.
the contracts and favors and other “agendas” will continue to roll-out with the veteran under those wheels.
Very well said agree
Where is Bob McDonald ?
Is there a “TROLL” on here today?
@crazyelf- No doubt a “contractor Troll” from Booz Allen. See “BW” commenter…reads like a robotic VA Spin Dr. Contract Defender, no less!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, TROLL is obviously thick in the air along with the Spring Pollen and rainbows and unicorn fairy dust blowing out of overpaid contractor’s rear orifices. 🙂
Thanks brother. Thought I wasn’t wrong on that!
Yep, gotta be, you spotted him quick too. (I didn’t want to give the ‘Troll’ away!)
Why do these idiots come on here to try to dispell the truth? Don’t they realize there are vets on here, which know more than what they think we do?
I may not know everything about the VA. Yet, by coming on this website, and others, it’s been educational to say the least!
I’ve learned a lot from y’all AND Mr. Ben Krause as well!
Thanks to all my new Brothers and Sisters!
P.S. My writing, (typing), has also improved! LOL!!!
Agree with you
For as often as VA web sites are down for maintenance…no we are not seeing the benefit.
How many veterans here find useful information on MyHealthevet it the Blue Button? Granted it is nice to see some medical notes that a veteran can access, but how many can use secure messaging without having to jump through hoops to get a provider to use it? For the money spent, it should be mandatory to use it, particularly when some poor, overworked AFGE thug refuses to answer the phone or return a message.
For the billions spent by the VA on IT, there should never again be a claims backlog, or a veteran waiting longer than 30 days for an approved claim.
And my VA, Hampton VA to be exact, did not want to provide me with proper orthotics because they cost about $400.00. They tried to give me a pair that cost them $70.00. I am sure the VA will not pay half of what I would pay if I had to go outside to get them. Come on, who needs more systems. You would be surprised if you know how many agencies already have access to your ” private” records.
Just when y’all thought it couldn’t get any worse at a VA near you!
I just received this from “Hotair dot com”, by Ed Morrissey! It’s approximately 3 hours old. By way of the “Daily Caller News Foundation’s” Luke Rosiak.
Titled: “More great VA moments: Convicted fraudster goes from prison to running purchasing program”
This has got to be the worst B/S in Washington and VA ever!
I was floored when I read the article!
Here’s the daily caller article on the VA’s hired THUG in charge of PURCHASING and CONTRACTS: “””https://dailycaller.com/2016/05/05/feds-put-credit-card-felon-in-charge-of-major-va-purchasing-program/#ixzz47tO0N8sp”””
Read this, it will make you enraged. Released on a Friday, per usual VA mode of operation but did not escape Veteran’s eyes!!!!!!! BasTURDs!
I sent a copy of this article off to my Congressman. Guess what, NO REPLY!
How’s that for working “For the People!?”
“BOOZE, Allen, Hamilton”!
I believe their ‘first name’ says it all.
I agree namnibor, Why does VA keep giving contracts to an entity[ies] which can’t, (or refuses), to get the job done right the first time?
Plus, Where’s all of the taxpayers monies going?
Is it possible VA upper echelon believes, (knows), something’s going down most Americans don’t know?
Could namnibor be correct in his assumption, the monies are going into some unGodly “black hole”? What is this “black hole” anyway?
Is this monies going for something more sinister, we as a nation don’t have “The need to know”? (remember that saying?)
Could we, as a “Christian Nation”, be heading for a downfall. One more disastrous than the “Great Depression” of 1929? It’s been reported Obama AND Biden have had multiple meetings with those who can raise the ‘interest rates’! Remember what happened in 2007-8 when the feds and banks started raising the rates the year before? A Complete Meltdown! Millions of people lost BILLIONS.
I’m not one to jump in and defend anyone but it’s probably better to cite the VA press release for information instead of the press release from one of the 21 companies that won a spot on the contract.
– $22.3B is the total ceiling over 10 years
– 21 different contractors were selected to be on the contract vehicle, they get no money for being selected
– They now have to compete for task orders; THAT is what they were all awarded. Now they all start from zero
– There are 10 Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business primes on the vehicle (and likely dozens of SDVOSB sub’s under the large business who would all have small business targets they have to meet) (as there were on the last contract)
– The SDVOSB’s will get significant preferential set-asides that only they can bid on (as they did on the last contract)
– Different numbers I’m sure for the prior T4 contract, but same basic set up. Booz Allen was one of many. So saying they were “in the mix” doesn’t really explain the reality.
If you want to blame contractors it appears there is plenty of blame to go around, including a MASSIVE Veteran-owned business presence.
The Booz Allen press release, or any other from a company that won a spot on the contract, will always try to sound flattering to themselves by using the overall potential contract value…just the way it is.
As great as it would be to blame one entity for the VA’s issues, and presumably work to fix that problem, contractors alone are not the issue. Just like Veteran preference hiring quotas are not the sole issue. But many would say that has a detrimental effect when unqualified people are hired into positions solely based on their service instead of what’s needed to succeed in that position. And because government jobs last forever, that has (and has had) a ripple effect long after the contractors are paid and gone.
I’ve been military, contractor, and govie. Good people solve problems and make things better, or at least they try to. What they get paid doesn’t matter as much as who they are as a worker. What I do know is that accountability and repercussions for contractors exists. Not perfect, it will never be the blood in the streets type of accountability enraged people seem to want, but it exists. That cannot be said for the the VA staff side of the house. Accountability does not exist. It just doesn’t.
So it still goes back to good individuals, build good teams, and they do their best to try and get something good done. The organization, above all, makes that possible or impossible. The answers to all the author’s sarcastic questions goes back to the government leaders and staff that run VA.
A careful reader would see considerable butthurt in your comment, and more than a little resentment for veterans.
That is sad given the fact that veterans are supposed to be the primary reason for these billions being spent.
A rather defensive VA contractor that along with the VA, has entirely forgotten that Veterans are supposed to be the primary reason for the VA’s existence, thus any contractor with any conscience would realize that -10- years is a joke for this contract, especially when one considers how quickly technology and software advances these days.
As it stands the VA is still stuck with mid-80’s tech. With this contract the VA will be stuck in the same relatively behind status and will be STUCK with this contractor whom should have completed the job correctly the first time, to update the VA in foreseeable future…talk about job security.
Your comments were arsenic laced and callous. Out.
Here’s how up and up VA Contracting is: “””https://dailycaller.com/2016/05/05/feds-put-credit-card-felon-in-charge-of-major-va-purchasing-program/#ixzz47tO0N8sp”””
The mistake was a hardware fix of a software problem. Now no one else can do a fix. Too much data would be lost. So the originals are locked in.
It would be great if they used this money hire hire english speaking no quacks.
Or better yet just provide private health care insurance where we can finally receive quality health care with out having to beg for good health care.
But i am a dreamer.
What bothers me immensely is almost all ‘contracts’ imply that any said ‘contract’ is NOT fulfilled if the systems they provide do not work as intended for said contract.
Why is Booz Allen given such leniency as to receive an additional foll0w-up MASSIVE contract when Booz Allen never technically completed the ‘contract’ the first or second time?
Does this new contract also have some sort of clause that cares not if Booz Allen actually completes the work?
What about all the Veterans in the next 10 years further negatively affected by the VA’s shitty IT from previously not completed contract?
I personally think this is just a way to launder Tax Payer $$$$ into the VA Black Hole. No real “fix”, as I actually think the VA LIKES things as they are, broken. Why ELSE would the VA continue with same contractor?
Something smells rotten here.
It use to be that when a federal employee retired from the U.S. government he/she had to wait 5 years before they could be re-employed by a civilian contractor servicing their agency. Then our start a war congress and piss on our service members reduced the wait time to 2 years. Today we have a revolving door, federal employees retire on Friday and begin working as a contractor the following Monday.
While working as federal employee my boss, a GS-14, earned about $140K each year. Retirement income, plus his starting pay as a contractor of $180K, he retired and up-ed his taxable income to $250K per year. Orchestrated failure, is profitable.
In my opinion as is yours,
A ‘great contract’ would have had multiple ‘stipulations’ guarding against any and all fubars such as what ‘Booze Allen’ did not accomplish! Thereby, relieving our government from paying out any further monies. In addition, since ‘Booze Allen’ was responsible for the problems in the first place. There should have been remittances back to the taxpayers!
Of course this would have been a “common sense contract”!
Only as I’ve said before, this is something VA does not, and will not, have! Their ways of making contracts only benefit them and the contractors!
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