VA puts a hold on 45 IT projects

The projects are behind schedule or over budget

The Veterans Affairs Department plans temporarily to halt 45 information technology projects with a combined budget of $200 million this year that are either behind schedule or over budget, the department announced July 17.

VA officials will review the projects and determine whether they should proceed, the department said.

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra reported the news on his blog July 17, citing it as an example of the kind of "evidence-based" decision-making the Obama administration wants to support through its IT Dashboard (read Kundra's blog post here).

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has ordered a review of the department’s 300 IT projects and implementations, according to the VA.

Managers of the 45 suspended projects must create new project plans that meet the requirements of the VA's Program Management Accountability System. The VA’s assistant secretary for information and technology will review the plans before projects are able to resume, officials said.

The agency’s Program Management Accountability System requires that milestones for delivering new functions are established for each project, agency officials said. Under the system, three missed milestones are cause for the project to be halted and re-planned.

Over the next year, all IT projects at VA will be required to move to the Program Management Accountability System.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

Reader Comments

Wed, Jul 22, 2009 G-Cntrctor

From a txpayer standpoint, I'm in favor of this policy. From a Gov't contractor standpoint, I have mixed feelings since experience has shown me that a great many budget/schedule issues are due to Gov't PM mishandling of requirements and resources. (scope creep, inadequate customer resources, etc.). However, if the fault is truly the contractor's, then they should be held accountable. Also, what thresholds and baselines were used in the determination of over budget or behind schedule?

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