WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

CGI's VA roll out marks new start for troubled program

While the effort to deploy a new electronic health record gets most of the attention, the Veterans Affairs Department has also struggled over many years to get its financial systems modernized.

But that might be changing. Earlier this week, CGI Federal announced it has successfully completed the first implementation of its Momentum Enterprise Solution at the VA. The software package will modernize financial management and acquisitions at the department.

The first rollout under VA’s Financial Management Business Transformation program occurred at VA’s National Cemetery Administration. Work is ongoing at the Veterans Health Administration and the Veterans Benefits Administration and VA staff offices. CGI said the rollout will be completed over the next seven years.

While this is a positive sign for VA, it comes after years of fits and starts.

The VA has made earlier attempts to replace the system: once in 1998 and again in 2006. Neither attempt was successful, according to published reports.

CGI won the work for attempt number three 2016 as part of a shared services solution the Agriculture Department offered to the VA. That contract was valued at $824 million.

Agriculture and the VA parted ways in 2018 because the approach wasn’t working due to VA requirements and budgeting processes. A VA official described it as a “divorce,” according to FCW.

Since then, the VA has moved on without another agency partner. But the VA has continued to work with CGI and other companies such as Deloitte and CACI International.

The VA now says it will spend $2.5 billion over 10 years to modernize and integrated its financial systems.

The National Cemetery Administration was picked as the first VA component to use the new system, which is cloud based. It is the smallest of the three main VA components with 2,000 employees. By comparison, the Veterans Benefits Administration has more than 23,000 and the Veterans Health Administration dwarfs them both with 322,000.

CGI’s Momentum software was specifically designed for federal agencies and has capabilities around financial, budget, asset and procurement management, the company said.

“CGI is honored to be part of the FMBT program that transforms the way VA responds to veterans’ needs through an accessible and transparent management system that drives efficiency and timely decision making,” said Stephanie Mango, a CGI senior vice president. “This, in turn, improves quality of care and service to our veterans and their families.”

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 04, 2021 at 11:33 AM

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