VA plans to eliminate stovepipes

VA plans to eliminate stovepipes

By the end of summer, the Veterans Affairs Department will come up with an enterprise architecture detailing plans to end stovepipe systems design and incompatible systems development.

The move came after Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi ordered the department last month to halt all new information technology projects until officials there can develop a formal IT strategy.

The department plans to use the existing blueprint as a base to build on the new strategy, said Judge McMichael, VA's acting chief information officer.

A group of IT officials, program officials and experts will meet offsite on Fridays and Saturdays every other week to work on the strategy.

The department will select panel members by May 10, after which the meetings will begin, McMichael said.

He pointed out that programs for which the department's offices have issued requests for proposals would likely continue, though Principi reserved the right to review the RFPs. Also, the secretary's order applies only to new projects, not ongoing efforts, he said. Existing funds will be used only for ongoing projects and developing the enterprise architecture.

A substantial portion of the IT project will be devoted to security issues, McMichael said.

'Preeti Vasishtha

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