Browsing: Veterans Affairs

VA career tool may be example for other agencies

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Veterans Affairs Department employees have had access to one of the government’s best career-development tools since October. Soon, you may see something like it coming to your agency. Last week, top VA officials demonstrated the tool — called MyCareer@VA — at a meeting of administration and union leaders. “When you think about your own career, there are times that you want to figure out how to get ahead, but there are also times that you may feel like you’re stuck and want to do something else,” said VA Deputy Secretary Scott Gould as he presented the website July 18 to…

Update: House subcommittee passes veterans data breach notification bill

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A House subcommittee on Wednesday passed a bill to ensure vets are quickly notified when their personal information is breached. The Veterans Data Breach Timely Notification Act, , H.R. 3730, requires the Veterans Affairs Department to notify Congress and vets within 10 business days of their personal information being breached. VA could request a five-day extension if more time is needed to identify affected individuals or mitigate a breach. VA contractors that handle vets’ personal information would be held to the same standards under the bill. “In the unfortunate event of a breach of sensitive information, veterans and their families should be notified…

VA to award health record contract to next qualified bidder

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The Veterans Affairs Department will not openly recompete a $102.6 million contract to manage a critical portion of its future integrated electronic health record (iEHR) system with the Defense Department. Instead, VA will award the contract to the second most qualified bidder, said VA Spokeswoman Jo Schuda. The firm has not been named. Last month, VA canceled the contract it had awarded to Fairfax, Va.-based ASM Research Inc. to manage a portion of the iEHR, called the enterprise service bus, which will allow various components of the future system to communicate with each other and with VA and DoD health…

VA/DoD joint office gets new director

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Former Harris Corp. executive Barclay Butler has been appointed director of the DoD/VA Interagency Program Office (IPO), which oversees the agencies’ integrated electronic health record project and other joint initiatives. Barclay, who served as vice president of healthcare operations for Harris’ Falls Church, Va., office, started work at the joint office on Feb. 27, DoD announced Tuesday. David Wennergren, DoD’s assistant deputy chief management officer, had been serving as interim director since July. The director position required approval from VA and DoD secretaries. As director, Barclay is also the program executive for the iEHR and the health portion of the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) initiative, according to a…

VA cancels critical contract for electronic health record

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The Veterans Affairs Department has canceled a $102.6 million contract to manage a critical portion of its future integrated electronic health record (iEHR) system with the Defense Department. The contract was awarded on Jan. 13 to Fairfax, Va.-based ASM Research Inc. to manage a portion of the iEHR, called the enterprise service bus, which will allow various components of the future system to communicate with each other and with VA and DoD health information stored in data centers. The contract was awarded under VA’s $12 billion Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology, or T4, program. VA Spokeswoman Jo Schuda confirmed that the contract…

89% of VA's IT projects delivered on time

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When the Veterans Affairs Department launched a program in 2009 to monitor the progress of its information technology projects, VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker thought he had set the bar high. Baker challenged the IT staff to deliver 80 percent of all VA IT project milestones on schedule. At the time, less than 30 percent of IT projects were delivered on schedule, according to VA estimates. In less than two years, VA has exceeded Baker’s goal. Last fiscal year, 89 percent of IT project milestones were delivered on time, the agency said. The agency delivered 212 of 237 project…

VA CIO trades laptop for iPad

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The Veterans Affairs Department still plans to make iPads and iPhones available for use on its network by Oct. 1, Chief Information Officer Roger Baker said this week. More than 100 workers–including Baker– are participating in pilot programs at VA hospitals across the country. Baker said he broke down and ditched his laptop for an iPad, “and it works pretty nice.” His tablet computer is connected to the network, and email data is stored on the device. Medical information will be encrypted and stored on an approved medical application. But the main focus is the clinician because “that’s where the real…

SAIC claims final spot on $12 billion VA contract

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Science Applications International Corp. was awarded the last spot on a $12 billion information technology contract by the Veterans Affairs Department, the agency said Tuesday. VA awarded the contract on July 1 to 14 contractors — including Booz Allen Hamilton, Harris Corp. and Systems Research and Applications Corp. — out of more than 90 bidders to provide the department with systems and software engineering, cybersecurity, training and facilities support. The department awarded the last spot on its Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology contract to SAIC on Monday. The 15th contract was on hold pending resolution of an earlier protest with the…

Vet-owned businesses must show proof

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Companies seeking preferential treatment as veteran-owned or small businesses will first have to verify their status with the Veterans Affairs Department. Under the 2010 Veterans Benefits Act, VA has greater responsibilities to ensure that businesses competing for set-aside contracts are eligible.   This applies to companies currently listed in VA’s Vendor Information Pages database. Since mid-December, the agency has contacted more than 13,000 businesses by e-mail and mail to notify them of the new deadline. Companies have 90 days to submit documentation to VA upon notification, or they will not be listed in the database, VA announced Monday. The verification…

VA pilot reduces wait for collecting health records

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A recently launched six-month pilot at the Veterans Affairs Department is intended to reduce the time it takes to collect veterans’ health records from private physicians. VA awarded Virginia-based DOMA Technologies, LLC a six-month, $384,000 contract to aid in collecting records needed to process veterans’ claims for disability benefits. “We are committed to harnessing the best technology and the brightest minds in the government and private sector to ensure veterans receive the benefits they have earned,” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, said in a news release. Wayne Zinn, DOMA’s chief operating officer, said the pilot is off to a strong start. More…