Another official has been reassigned in the wake of a flawed $472 million test computer system that was supposed to streamline accounting, billing and supply tracking within the Veterans Affairs hospital network but instead may never see the light of day. Elwood Headley was removed as the VA's director of hospitals in the region that includes Florida, south Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, making him the fourth person connected to the test project to step down or be reassigned. Testing of the system took place at Bay Pines VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla. A spokesman for the VA did not have details on where Headley has been reassigned.
Earlier in the year, Robert Roswell, the undersecretary for health, resigned. John O'Connor, the Washington-based director of the computer system, and Pramod Mohanty, the chief of staff at Bay Pines, were reassigned in the wake of the computer system problems. Among the problems were employees who weren't properly trained. The VA's inspector general's office also cited poor leadership among management at Bay Pines. Despite spending $249 million on the project, Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Prinicipi has told Congress that the problems are so deep and unsettled that it is questionable the project can be salvaged. -- by Tony Fong