VA to pull plug on CoreFLS at Bay Pines

The Veterans Affairs Department will phase out by Oct. 1 a pilot program designed to test its new $472 million financial management system at the Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla.

'This pilot program was designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of certain commercial, off-the-shelf, technology programs in a complex medical environment," VA Secretary Anthony Principi said yesterday.

The financial management system, developed by BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., was beset with problems.

A report from VA's Inspector General investigated data conversion, system interface, VA employee training and information security issues as a result of testing the Core Financial and Logistics System. The March report found weaknesses in management of the contracting process.

The Bay Pines facility began piloting CoreFLS, an integrated system combining logistical, billing and other management functions, in October 2003. The medical center will soon return to its previous financial management software.

A board comprised of VA CIO Robert McFarland and senior VA leadership will examine the CoreFLS pilot program at Bay Pines and recommend what to do.

A spokesman for BearingPoint said the company would have no comment on VA's action.

(Updated 7:32 p.m.)

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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