WASHINGTON (Feb. 23, 2010) – The Department of Veterans Affairs today
announced that all information technology (IT) projects at the
Department will now be managed under its program management and
accountability system (PMAS).
"We will end projects that don't work, streamline those that do, and
focus on the responsibility we have for achieving maximum value for our
Veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
First announced by Secretary Shinseki in June 2009, the system requires
IT projects to deliver new functionality within six months and keeps
projects tied to established milestones. VA is using PMAS and other
rigorous management techniques to reform its IT management practices and
provide better value, efficiency, and effectiveness for taxpayers'
VA announced the temporary halt of 45 of its most problematic computer
projects last summer so they could be fixed. During the next six
months, VA restarted 32 of these projects, stopped 12, and continued the
review of one. These actions resulted in cost avoidance of $54 million
for VA during fiscal year 2010.
"While we have stopped the 12 projects, the real saving is in the
increased probability of success for the projects we changed and
restarted," said Roger W. Baker, VA's Assistant Secretary for
Information and Technology. "Holding each project accountable for
regularly delivering value is key to getting the most out of our IT
budget. While much work remains to be done, PMAS has shown what can be
achieved by forcing measured demonstrations of performance."
PMAS, in conjunction with the analytical tools available through the IT
Dashboard, will ensure early identification and correction of
problematic IT projects. The Internet-based IT Dashboard
<http://www.usaspending.gov/> , launched in June 2009, is a one-stop
clearinghouse of information, allowing the American people to track
federal information technology initiatives and hold the government
accountable for progress and results.
"Better accountability and focus on results lead to better services for
our Veterans and better value for the American taxpayer," said Federal
Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. "Investing in what works is
about continuing projects that are effective and making tough choices
when projects, however well intentioned, are broken and failing. We owe
it to the American people to make sure their dollars are being spent