VA Develops Plan To Maximize IT Budget

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) announced they were tightening up their current IT goals by implementing a program originally designed to be used as a last-ditch effort. The program was essentially designed for use with IT projects way behind schedule.

The “Program Management and Accountability System” was designed to cover only about 45 underperforming projects but now must be expanded to address every project in the IT department, which currently totals 282 current ventures.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s vision is that the VA will terminate any project not currently working, make the ones that are working more efficient, and therefore realize the maximum value from the programs veterans deserve.

While requesting a budget for 2011, it was discovered many of the current IT programs demonstrated the possibility they could fail. There was no one trait common to all the programs but included the following:

  • Significant schedule delays;
  • Budget overruns; and
  • Poor product quality.

Last June the VA launched a program named PMAS which forced managers in charge of IT projects facing trouble to start delivering partial projects on deadlines and make regular reports on progresses. 45 projects were stopped, including a project in development to help patient scheduling for VA hospitals. That particular project was 8 years and $167 million into development.

The end result of PMAS was a $52 million savings in the fiscal 2010 IT budget and 32 of the projects were eventually restarted. The results were so effective, VA officials have decided that holding every project accountable for delivering regularly scheduled progress is the only way to go to maximize the IT budget.

Learn more about the VA’s plan to streamline their IT projects.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.