The Veterans Affairs Department's failure of its Replacement Scheduling Application program is part of a larger, system problem related to the management and implementation of IT projects at the VA, says a new report from the department's inspector general's office.
Earlier this summer, the VA announced that it had put 45 IT projects—most of them involving software applications—on hold, as the projects were subject to internal review and a new project-management system. That preceded the late-August report from the VA's inspector general's office, which was issued in response to a request from Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the ranking member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, who had asked for a review of both the award and administration of task orders issued by the VA to Southwest Research Institute. Those task orders were to develop the RSA development program, sometimes referred to as the scheduling replacement project. The project's beginning dates back to 2000, when the Veterans Health Administration decided to replace its VistA scheduling system because of the aging software and a 1998 General Accountability Office report that showed excessive waiting times for veterans.