Veterans Affairs T4NG

Veterans Affairs Awards Shocking $22 Billion IT Contract

Benjamin KrauseThe Department of Veterans Affairs just awarded a $22.3 billion IT contract split between twenty-one government contractors for a program called T4NG.

This round of IT updates builds on the previous $12 billion T4 contract given to 15 vendors including Booz Allen Hamilton and CACI.


Booz Allen formerly employed Edward Snowden. CACI was responsible for the boondoggle in Georgia where veterans files were intermingled with other files at the benefits claims processing center.

RELATED: Government Contractor Fails To Process Claims Files

The new program is supposed to design and “realign and integrate the VA’s disparate organizational boundaries to better serve veterans,” whatever that means.

The long name of the program is Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation acquisition program, or T4NG. It is an IT modernization project to support the MyVA Initiative being driven by Secretary Bob McDonald. The program is not related to the upcoming changes to the VistA electronic health record system.

Any ideas how much that will cost to fix? Meanwhile, the Board of Veterans Appeals is concerned about how “expensive” it is to update the Board’s system. That price tag is $1 billion per year.

Given the difference between outputs, it would make sense to me to pay the $1 billion per year price tag to speed up the appeals process each year that to dump an astonishing $22 billion into IT fixes for a system that has little to now relation to direct benefits administration.

Are we even sure what MyVA is supposed to do? Will it work exactly like the previous failures? Why do taxpayers continue to believe everything spewed forth from VA regarding IT contracting so long as the key phrase “better serve veterans” is included?

That phrase has been depleted of any meeting over the past 80 years.


Secretary Bob had this to say about the deal:

“This T4NG award is one of the many ways the Department is supporting the MyVA breakthrough initiatives by directly providing the technology our Veterans need to support the services they receive from VA. The T4NG will help meet and strengthen VA’s long-term technology needs.”

If we continue to let VA continue to waste tax dollars on projects that fail to deliver, American taxpayers will revolt against the veteran population. We need to be smarter with funds for IT contracts given their penchant for failure.

Making money on the back of sentiment for disabled veterans is apparently a burgeoning business for many private companies in the DC metro.


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  1. Yep- I am Old School but I sure appreciate you young TEKKIE vets. Your input reflects the concerns of many silent vets. Thank you. Never quit.

    1. I’m just beginning to change my attitude away from the corruption in the VA that ruined my life and think of the young, super trained kids who could be coming home from Afghanistan with injuries that could diminish their futures. I’m turning my attention to helping them. And I am a native Texan, too. Most of my account logins start with “yellowrose”

  2. McDonald and his $22 Billion wasted boondoggle is like Iran getting $150 Billion from Obama. There will be no good come out of it, except for McDonald’s retirement kickback. HINT: Think about this — The Trump-Veterans hotline is 855-VETS-352 and email is [email protected]

  3. Hey Crazy Elf,

    Checking the headlines?

    Let’s see Russia pulls their troops and planes out of Syria within in less than two days and now Washington is facing a shutdown with federal employees being told they can tele-commute to work. Also the Sudia’s special training operations have just ended.

    Some times a coincident is more than just a coincident.

    “Washington, D.C., subway to close for 29 hours for inspection”


    “DC to shut down entire subway system in commuter nightmare federal”

    “Updates: D.C. Metro shutdown”

    Seems no one on the blog is believing the official story from the Federal Bureau of Imagination (FBI)

  4. I offered a very simple fix to the VA for a perplexing problem. Travel. The current system has no easy way to track it, they could easily and securely have a query run once a day/hour/etc to get the travel status of every appointment. Save the results to a table on a midpoint machine. Do this all behind the firewall. Then split the results into a series of files by veteran number (via some scheduled job) that is saved in the same area as the data pulled for myhealthevet, to speed up response time. Then each logged in user can pull their file and their travel. To the end user travel status appears in another column right in the myhealthevet appointment list, and they can see it. Because the data being shared is nothing more than a status, not numbers or accounts, the financial information is as secure as it was before. The only program with knowledge of the table is behind the same firewall, and no structure information need be shared outside the firewall. I told them I (a 60% disabled veteran with a bachelor’s in computer science and a programming background) could implement this in about 4 weeks for a pittance compared to what they just spent.

    Also I got fed up with myhealthevet. I wrote scripts to take me right where I want to go. Enter my username and password, click OK and I touch nothing till I am at my appointment list, to refill all my pending scripts, to get to secure messaging, to get my most recent blue button, or any other function. These make using this system much much easier for me. I can share them if anyone wants them.

    1. Golly, you are smart. And generous with your information. How can we link up, I would like to consider your MyHealthEVet scripts, I’ve never really done that. But if you can contribute something to those of us who will try, to make it more seamless, sounds great. I used to be a technical trainer on Capitol Hill.
      I thank you for coming here on the blog, and thank you for what all you have gone through for our country.

  5. Almost seems like they would be better off to scrap all of the old systems, build a new system from scratch for all databases and divisions with the future perceived benefits of veterans in mind, and then hire about 10,000-20,000 new people to do all of the data entry to migrate all old records manually into the new system for a few years. New system would be modern, interconnected, and serve veterans the way they were intended. I’m guessing you could do all of that easily for under $8 billion.

    This current approach is so flawed. First, they are spending a sh*tload of money. Second, they are expecting 15 different vendors with different interests to work well together and create something cohesive. Third, they are trying to build something new from old parts that don’t work well together….like trying to build a new car out of old Ford, Ferrari, and BMW parts. Just admit you messed up and start over…we’ve thrown enough money at this without a working solution.

    1. @DevilDog320-

      In just the last couple years, the VA had ALREADY received HUGE funding for **exactly** what you have suggested, and at least 3x separate HUGE funding to update the VA and make it connected to the DoD Database/Records…ALL FAILED and on one of the times I recall the VA not knowing where all the $$$ went…the VA and Technology/Accountability is like what Kryptonite is to Superman.

      ACS and Xerox come to mind as but one of a salvo of attempted IT updates…and the VA remains at 1984ish state…MS-DOS. Black screens, bright green cathode ray letters…

      I think the early computer game called “Pong” would have trouble running on the VA System.

  6. Im going to give you an employee perspective: the VA’s approach to technology has been piecemeal. A small example of this is a vet in the chapter 31 program changes his address in benefits. It does not get sent then to the case management software that Vocational Rehab uses. The vet also has to do a separate update at the VAMC. Another example is have to look up info in three different databases.

    The project is to revamp the software systems, update the server power and create an unparalleled cyber security system that is user friendly for both the vet and the employees, across all lines. $22B “for computers” seems ridiculous until you consider the complexity and scope of what is required.

    With any luck, Sec. McDonald will be able to stick around with the new POTUS, so that he can finish what has been started.

    1. Problem with this site
      Baghdad Bob is out but Obama won’t let him go. Doesn’t want to spend political capital on a replacement. He didn’t ask for extraordinary powers up front and now has no chance of getting them.
      Sloan Gibson is trying to set himself up as the guy for continuity.

      1. @Robin
        Come January, possibly sooner, there’s going to be a real shake-up in VA. Mark my words!

    2. I don’t disagree with needing to upgrade IT equipment and make it easier to operate, but to put $22 billion into perspective, do a search on supercomputer cost. For a mere $60 million, Oak Ridge’s Jaguar was upgraded for a final cost of $97 million. It does 17, 590 trillion calculations per second. Lawrence Livermores supercomputer cost $250 million. Argonne National Labs cost $50 million. NOAA just built a new Cray supercomputer for $44 million.

      I understand supercomputers can’t translate directly to data servers, PCs connecting to them and secure data storage, but anything over $5 billion is a huge cost for IT not to mention $22 billion.

      By the time the VAs 21 contractors spend a billion on systems, they will have to upgrade those systems for the next billion because the initial systems will be obsolete.

      For $22 billion, they would be able to put massive data centers in every VA hospital in the country, and still have money left over. If they did it smart, they would use off the shelf servers running Linux servers with network attached storage so they COULD upgrade systems as needed costing much less over the long term, and still be far under the $22 billion.

      Given its the VA, they will have a former Social Worker who is now head of their IT department contract for a mix of hardware and software that will not communicate with each other, and in 5 years they will ask for more money to fix their mess.

      The VA has never proven they can handle a contract like this. They cannot even finish building a hospital in Denver.

      1. @91veteran–

        You beat me to the stats on computer upgrades and current costs available for major upgrades, including that new NOAA Super Cray Computer….all spot on. I had to do some comparisons as well, because that $22.3 Billion split between 21 contractors just sounds like an orchestrated future bag of worms for the very reason you stated: obsolesce and technology upgrades would be needed yet again and again at least every 5 years if not more…and we are still at WAR…there’s bound to be MANY MORE Veterans coming way of VA in very near future and want to believe that unplanned surge is already happening because WHY would the VA wait until just after getting their $$ for year to come back and say like Dickens, “Sir, may I have another?”

        “[Given its the VA, they will have a former Social Worker who is now head of their IT department contract for a mix of hardware and software that will not communicate with each other, and in 5 years they will ask for more money to fix their mess.]”

        Let me add to that and predict they also later find said Social Worker never really had a degree or any idea about IT in first place and was a regional director’s nephew once removed or something 🙂

        I think the Treasury is being raided. I also think Sloan Gibson is being preened for VA Sec. in near future, could be wrong, but that’s how it’s starting to look.

        Where’s Bobby these days?

      2. I wanted to add that I also think $1 Billion *each year* to “fund” the VA’s Board of Appeals System should be a wake-up call of a huge backlog tidily shifted to the BVA…and I am only guessing here, but I wonder if this is yet another “lead in” to Sloan Gibson’s claim to want to redefine the VA’s Appeal Process?
        Why is it this is first time I at least can recall ever hearing it cost THAT much each year to operate…seems outrageous and I think Americans have become callous to JUST how much a Million is compared to a Billion then onto Trillions…it’s a true mind-phuqery to try to wrap one’s head around.
        Some pockets have to be getting stuffed. Union?

        Yes, seems Ohio has made this Presidential race even more complicated…we shall see.

      3. I was mistaken on the Utah Data Center. The Wikipedia entry says the initial cost was $1.5 billion. Hardware will cost another $2 billion. Still far under the $22 billion the VA wants to flush down a rat hole.

      4. And many Veterans that still could benefit from that new Hep C Vaccine/Cure, are STILL not getting this promised medication treatment…and correct me if wrong, but the VA was fully allocated $$$ for that Hep C Drug but not too long ago it came out there was not enough $$ or something….surprise, surprise.

        The VA should not be handling their own finances, period.

    3. Not to keep harping on this Merri, but the Utah Data Center just built for the NSA to spy on everything on the planet was built for $1.5 billion.
      If Congress signs off on this scheme, it’s nothing more than blatant looting of the US Treasury.

      1. Great research 91veteran!! That new NSA Data Center is large enough to more than likely be overkill for VA’s needs by power of 10.

      2. It isn’t the hardware that is the cost…it is the combined software requirements…

      3. Merri, I understand what you are saying, but no software comes close to approaching a cost of $22 billion.
        Even the state of the art hardware, and unique software (costing even more) planned for the Utah Data Center is expected to cost just $2 billion.
        The VA can polish this turd all they want, it is still blatant looting of the Treasury.

  7. They can spend 22B on this but can’t fund the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Act. Makes me sick.

  8. The myhealthyvet VA web site was supposed to make things easier for veterans also, but it hasn’t helped me a bit. Most PCP’s at the VA don’t even want to fool with it and won’t put lab results or anything else on there. They won’t use the secure messaging on it either. I think it was just another gimmick like this T4NG thing will most definitely turn out to be where most of the money will be kept at the top levels of VA hierarchy in order to create and open up more executive positions and guarantee larger bonuses for the fat cats while us down here on the bottom (us veterans) are still going to have to die waiting on medical care……. As far as the taxpayers revolting against veterans, they’re already back into treating veterans like we’re dirt again like the way they treated us back 40-50 years ago…..Just to be honest; I’m not too proud of America!

  9. The VA does business with government contractors only and does not competitively bid out projects to private sector companies. The process is defined in their SOPs. Their folks in charge of drafting the contracts and statement of work are also involved in awarding the contracts. There has been several of these contractors caught red handed defrauding the government with double charges and other slick schemes. After paying large fines they continue to provide their services to the VA. 3 things the next POTUS needs to do to clean out the corruption and deadbeats at the VA. Disolve the civil service review board, abrogate the AFGE Union, and hire a reputable private sector consultant firm to review top to bottom the processes and redundancies within in each department.

    As it is, even with cause a regular VA employee is near impossible to terminate because of poor management resulting in missteps etc. but all too often even when proper processes have been followed the terminated employees are brought back after the CSRB overrules the termination.

  10. I just got off the phone with the head of the Patient Advocates. Interesting conversation. It was about my email to McDonald, and a follow-up to their Get Lost response.
    He thought it was about switching primary care providers…which happened a year ago. I have him the details on that and said I fixed that problem last year. He said the Patient advocate that wouldn’t do her job then got a different job somewhere.
    We discussed some Choice program issues, and he said the VA was adding a new 800 number hotline for providers to call if they have problems getting paid.
    He also tried to make it sound like the VA is doing everything they can to make Choice work, that’s why they have been telling vets to call their Congressman with problems, and why they have been filling out numerous Patient Safety reports in EBRs over veterans not getting timely care.

    It would be interesting to FOIA the statistics on how many patient safety reports have been submitted over Choice problems.

    1. I have been calling McDonald’s cell for months before Fox News did. No answer ever.
      I have a stack of emails back to forth to and from Hickey et al before G-d told her to finally quit. About 20 VA employees wound up on those emails. Now Rep Lee Zeldin is trying to get an answer out of Sloan Gibson’s office and it is another day, maybe two. But, Gibson wants 178 BILLION big bucks and Zeldin’s support. Miller is on record telling him NO. Has congress funded this 22 billion yet? Might all be a pipe dream.I have documented many laws, court cases, Training Letters, Fast Letters, etc being violated.
      But, I have proof that the VA handles National Security issues with the same respect Hillary Clinton does. And, I emailed two people with it that BOTH had the legal duty to contact one of the intelligence agencies about that security breach. It is under a Top Secret 75 year holding.
      Guess who that top level VA guy is?
      Anyone else find it funny that Jeff Miller who sits on the House permanent select intelligence committee’s website is still taking campaign donations? He has left his district’s Republican party in a knot?
      And, that house intel committee has a lot of jurisdiction but it seems they forgot to add little old VA. I guess no one would ever think Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rouke buddy George Turek, VES owner would be hiring unknown Russian psych people to be doing exams on vets with TS/PRP clearances and copying half that vets file?

  11. VA computers now work on par with an old Atari system.

    I have been trying since last AUGUST to get DEA education benefits. Mailed a paper application that is MIA, tried for TWO MONTHS to find that sweet spot when the VA system would accept it online. After filling it out and even researching my school code so they didn’t have to (a VA supervisor answered the phone and it took her 10 minutes to find it as it is a specialized school), mailing it to the VARO holding my records and waiting 2 months I called my congressman. Finally I get a form..take this to your school. Two copies. Eight months and no check yet.

    It way past time to ask Anonymous to fix the computer system not KNOWN black ops companies, close most hospitals and give vets CHAMPVA adjusting co-pays on service connection and income, put all VA employees on 4 year contracts like military to be renewed at the benefit of the gov’t and under the UCMJ. If NOAA can be a uniformed service so can the VA. Build 10 story dorms at GITMO and start filling it.

    25% of FEDGOV employees quitting if Trump gets the POTUS election is the best reason to vote for him. He will either be another Reagan or it will be quite the ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ ride to the bottom. In that case let this bitch burn and rebuild our great country from the ashes.

    1. I like your burn Idea, I don’t think it will ever be fixed, and would cost much less to rebuild. They have to many cooks in the Kitchen, no one knows what the other is doing. They can’t even keep paperwork straight on who served.

  12. On the heels of President Eisenhower came a bonafide Nazi. He hated America,of course. Holed up in a quiet TX town. Mentored a screwed up National Guardsman that was also a FEMA appointee. They formed their own coalition. Been going on for decades. Thanks to that screwed up National Guardsman and the oh so crooked Tx politicians, and their secret communication with German chancellors both past and present, that is why our USA is in the mess it is in. “The Final Solution” born under Hitlers regime didn’t die– it just got moved to American soil. The Terrorist Watchlist isn’t really aimed at terrorists- its aimed right down the throats of many many innocent people. In 2008 I went to the Soc Sec office for a replacement card. I had been placed in the system as a non US citizen! My uncle was KIA in WW2, my father served in Guam, and these same f….ups had the nerve to change my citizenship status. I got the mess straightened out but I feel 99% certain I am on the watchlist because I know what they do not want you to know. That bitch Angela Merkel has been draining us dry for years– sadly she has been receiving help from US traitors. Read George H W Bush inaugural address. Its on the web. I don’t recall the USA ever having a totalitarian govt & I would think our president would salute the American people in such an epic American ceremony. It was a total salute to Germany.

    1. I agree with you! I read something some time ago about how “Germany actually won WWII”!
      The proof is in the facts!

      1. hey Crazy Elf Thanks for your response. So many other negative events went down in Tx that I didn’t even mention. Knowing you have my back feels great.

    2. Hey, brother, that’s what veterans do! Or, at least that’s what real veterans are supposed to do!!!!!
      We must and will continue the onslaught against VA until they capitulate – “Unconditional Surrender” is in the cards for VA! Nothing else will we except!
      Then, we will put on trial everyone who is involved in the murder of our comrades!

      1. Crazy Elf I will NEVER quit. Heres to our fallen comrades. Hoping the ones that stand trial shall see the dark clouds drift in over their heads for a change.

  13. $22 billion. For computers. Given the scope of contractors involved, this is nothing more than a return on investment of campaign donations.
    Meanwhile veterans are stuck with another multi-billion dollar contractor that cannot simply make phone calls to schedule appointments.
    I suspect we will see many more instances of the gravy train being fueled before November.

    $22 billion. I wonder if there are other government IT contracts to compare this to in order to see how outrageous this is.

    1. I am almost wondering if this is the way they funnel money to DoD projects through the VA…since the VA and DoD are like evil step sisters?
      Like you said. $22.3 BILLION for…computers. It seems more than outrageous and someone or somebodies must be fleecing their pockets here….or black ops for DoD funneled from VA…..dunno, it just does not seem logical when the VA could have easily included this into their projected funding for year since they KNEW it was coming….something does not pas the sniff test or BS test here.

      I also agree that the VA will be back with dump trucks for more $$$$$$ before November and they may even try again that same method of holding our healthcare “hostage” like they did early last Summer in order to get that funding before the new POTUS comes I and “YOU’RE ALL FIRED”…gravy train will milk this until every teat is dry.

      Your other comment is so right on as well as far as they VA still has the same shitty contractors that cannot even properly and timely make appointments through Choice…the VA absolutely NEEDS an appointed Fiduciary. Done!

  14. I received this today from;
    “The Common Sense Show” by Dave Hodges. This is a must read!

    It title is;
    “The Psychological Reasons WHY Trump Has Already Won the Presidency”

    “In an address to the Council on Foreign Relations”, Zbigniew Bizezinski: Advisor to B.H.O. stated;
    quote; “It used to be so much easier to control a million people than to kill them. But today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control them!” unquote!

    In my opinion, This “statement” was made by a “MADMAN!” A person who, by all accounts, is supposed to defend the “Rights of Humankind!”
    Yet, because of this and the wholesale corruption in Washington, “The Slumbering Masses Have Awakened!”

    In this article it mentions, (paraphrasing), if a person keeps telling a lie often enough, those hearing it will begin to believe it.
    For example, Hillary was talking to a reporter within the past few days. She was questioned on (Bengazi) Gadaffi. She actually came out and said, “[We] didn’t lose anyone” there!

    Please google this and get it out ASAP!

  15. I’m not sure I can agree with you that “One Billion Dollars” a year is appropriate to spend for appeals system that is broken? Why not fix the appeals process in statute to make it simpler than spending a billion dollars? Not sure what the 22 billion dollars consists of. Perhaps it is to revamp the ms dos systems that should have been updated years ago and are fueling the inefficiencies that the department is trying to get rid of.

  16. “WHEN” will the “…American taxpayers [will] revolt against the veterans population…” is a better question!
    I seem to remember that happening back in the late 60’s and 70’s! It divided our nation.
    It’s starting to occur now on a smaller scale. Not as bad as back then. Yet, people are tired of war – and the taxation it brings. And this administration has the Treasury Department working overtime printing our “devalued dollar”!
    (Side Note: I guess by now everyone has heard, “1000 troops” are heading for the Middle East soon!)
    When people get angry and frustrated, they have to take out their anger and frustrations on someone. Why not the veterans. Their the closest. They won’t go to Washington. They won’t go outside their representatives office. They won’t go protest outside the VA or any government agency!
    In my opinion, the “anger and frustrations” haven’t hit a fever pitch, YET! It’s coming, just wait for it! The real “TRUTHS” about what’s really going on in Washington hasn’t gotten out all the way, YET!
    When it does, there will be a “RECKONING!”
    The more our government taxes the people, the angrier they become! Especially when “they” (taxpayers) see so much “abuse, waste and fraud” being committed.
    This is partly the “WHY” behind the rise of Mr. Trump. He’s said he’s going to do something about it! I believe he will.

    I will bet anyone, there’s absolutely NO “balancing of the VA’s books!”
    I will guarantee NO ONE has asked HOW ANY of the $$$ are really being spent by anyone, (Who’s pockets is it going in?)!

    That’s the end of my rant for this morning! I’m like namnibor. I’m still pissed off from yesterday’s blog. And the crap I found on Military dot org and other websites!

  17. Another $22.3 Billion sacrifice to the VA’s Black Hole. Spread amongst no less than 21 VA Contractors. How many VA contractors does it take to screw-in a VA light bulb? Do some code? How many of these 21 VA Contractors are relatives or close buddies of VA upper management?
    We have witnessed fail after fail when it comes to so-called ‘technology updates’, to only find out each and every time the VA either entirely screws it up or the Contractors screw it up or (my favorite), when the VA claims they have no clue where the $$$ went.

    With absolutely no proper accountability, why does Congress keep writing HUGE blank checks to the VA?
    It’s only March 15th. Not even a full 1/4 into year, after the VA just received their funding allocation….and they have been back for more.

    Imagine what $22.3 BILLION could do for Veteran Homelessness and Veteran Suicide Prevention?
    Do THAT MANY Vets actually use and find MyVA useful in any way? I ask because the VA has SO MANY website projects that do not seem to be interconnected or even related. I wonder if that’s the reason for 21 different IT Contractors? Is each Contractor receiving approx. $1 Billion *each* or what I am trying to ask is: How much of this $$$ will end-up in huge VA Performance Bonuses, pocketed, expensive VA Retreats?
    Does the VA even bother giving such an itemized account to the exact $$ amount that will be spent per contractor or does the VA just appear with hands open, with absolutely no “business plan” or “accountability” required of them by Congress?

    This has me sizzling mad this morning. The fact this comes on the tail of the VA requesting more $$$ for upper management salary increases…how do we know it’s not really for that and not a massive “dump” in the VA Black Hole?

    Rant out. Must go vote for Trump now in my State’s Primary today. I am praying that my vote will have the effect of at least a few dozen VA Employees jumping ship like a pack of rats. (just let me dream this pipedream) 🙂

    1. would give over 3.5 million disable vets a $500 per month extra income,,, of course when all said and more money added will easly get to $750 per month extra income,,,

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