The Veterans Affairs Department May 7 awarded a $200 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for cellular services and devices to AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and A&T Systems.
The Veterans Administration must move to a build model that allows the architect and the construction contractor to work together simultaneously to quell cost and time overruns, VFW Director of Legislative Service Raymond Kelley told the House Veterans Affairs Committee in a May 7 hearing. The VA currently operates 43 projects under the design-bid-build model where the construction contractor bids to a fixed price and then is responsible for cost overruns unless they put through a change order where the VA and the contractor negotiate for who pays the overage, Kelley said.
"Another form/agreement will be created for individual facility approvals specifically for borrowing mobile devices," said VA spokeswoman Josephine Schuda. The department's current user agreement for the pilots is a variation of the form used to take any government property out of a VA central office building, said Schuda.
Costs substantially increased and schedules were delayed for Veterans Affairs medical center construction projects in Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Orlando, a recently release April 4 Government Accountability Office report says. As of November 2012, the cost increases for the four projects ranged from 59 percent to 144 percent, with a total cost increase of nearly $1.5 billion and an average increase of around $366 million, the report says.
Veterans Affairs Department senior officials who oversee disability claims won't be getting bonuses this year because they failed to meet goals in reducing the backlog of claims processing, VA Spokesman Randy Noller said. The withholdings apply only to executives of the Veterans Benefits Administration. Political appointees are not offered the bonuses.
The Veterans Affairs Department has turned portions of its mobile device management solution on to provide security for several smartphone and tablet pilot programs underway.
As Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gets up to speed on the integrated electronic health record, the Veterans Affairs Department is helping provide him with information he needs to make decisions on the project's future, said VA's Acting Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren during an April 25 press call. On the call, Warren also reaffirmed VA's commitment to an open source iEHR.
Native American veterans lack adequate health care services, despite a memo of understanding between the the Veterans Affairs Department and Indian Health Services, says an April 26 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf).
Veterans Affairs Department Acting Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren spoke with reporters April 25 about the department's most recent data breach report (.pdf) and other matters. Scroll...
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a House committee earlier this month the department pulled back from issuing an planned request for proposals for an electronic health record at his instruction.