VA plans CoreFLS successor

The Veterans Affairs Department has returned to the drawing board and is planning a new financial and logistics program to succeed where its Core Financial and Logistics System failed, a VA official said today.

The Financial and Logistics Integrated Technology Enterprise (FLITE) is a result of recommendations and lessons learned from the CoreFLS fiasco, said VA CIO Robert McFarland.

FLITE will be designed to meet the requirements for an integrated financial system to fix perennial department material weaknesses.

VA hired PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to evaluate the department's financial environment after VA scrapped CoreFLS in 2004. VA had spent $342 million on the project.

The system, piloted at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., did not operate correctly, resulting in postponed surgeries because equipment was not available. VA also had customized the commercial system on which CoreFLS was based to such an extent that it could not be repeated at other facilities even if it operated properly, McFarland has said.

VA re-established its legacy Financial Management System (FMS), which FLITE ultimately would replace.

'FLITE is the second try at eliminating the material weaknesses in financial and logistics that we have. It is another spin at trying to do what CoreFLS was supposed to do,' he said after a hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee oversight subcommittee.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recommended significant changes in business processes that VA has to accomplish. IT is not the primary function in solving these problems, he said.

'Business standardization is the first step. IT comes later,' he said.

VA has budgeted $30.9 million for FLITE for this year and requested $39.5 million in fiscal 2007, according to budget documents.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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