Sunday, June 28, 2009

DOD&VA Making Changes

According to (, the House Armed Services Committee transferred most of the Military Health System’s proposed fiscal 2010 information technology budget to the Defense Secretary’s office. This was done because none of the IT projects that the Military Health Service has proposed during the past two years have found their way into the president’s budget request. This information was included in a report accompanying the recently released Defense Authorization bill.

The House Committee said it shifted $1.1 billion or 85 percent of the agency’s total $1.3 billion IT budget to the secretary’s office because a higher level of leadership oversight is required to ensure that existing problems with the department’s health information management and information technology programs are addressed to ensure better coordination among other department information technology efforts.

At the VA, the agency is implementing a new IT department wide management approach. Effective immediately, all new IT programs and projects at VA must be implemented using the Project Management Accountability System (PMAS). PMAS is an incremental development approach to ensure that frequent deliveries will be made to customers and to halt programs that fail to meet delivery milestones. This new system will ensure early identification and then correct failing IT programs.

The program must establish milestones to deliver to customers in short increments of at most every six months. Under PMAS, a third missed customer delivery milestone will cause the program to be halted and re-planned. Before the program can restart, substantial changes must be instituted, including a re-evaluation of the program and approach, plus the replacement of the program manager, contractors, and a portion of the government staff.