VA CIO to take over application, enterprise development after all

Originally posted Oct. 31 at 10:53 AM and updated Nov. 1 at 8:55 AM

(UPDATED) Under a draft reorganization plan, the Veterans Affairs Department will move its applications and enterprise development under the CIO, after originally planning to keep it under the benefits, healthcare and burial administrations,as part of a federated model.

But the planning document, obtained by GCN, said the agency will centralize control of these functions under a deputy assistant secretary for enterprise development.

VA has been trying to consolidate its IT management as far back as 2002 and only really began the process in March when the CIO officially began to take over control of IT operations and maintenance.

The House last year passed legislation spearheaded by House Veterans Affairs Chairman Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) that would centralize IT authority under the department CIO. The Senate has not acted on the bill. Moving applications and enterprise development under the VA CIO will mean full IT budget and management centralization.

'The committee is aware that the department is seriously considering this,' a House Veterans Affairs Committee staffer said.

Gartner Consulting of McLean, Va., which VA hired to assess the department's IT management environment, last year recommended that VA centralize all management of IT budgeting.

Under the draft plan, the CIO would oversee deputy assistant secretaries for four other areas besides enterprise development:

  • Information protection and risk management, which includes privacy and records management, cybersecurity and business continuity among others.
  • Enterprise strategy, policy and planning, which includes enterprise architecture, IT strategy and e-government, and portfolio and program management.
  • IT resource management, which includes the IT comptroller, capital planning and programming and asset management.
  • Enterprise operations and infrastructure, which includes field operations and security in regions 1-4, network and telecommunications, and a corporate franchise data center.

Sources said the new organizational structure would take effect as early at Dec. 1. Officials have said that it would take as long as 18 months to complete the reorganization.

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