Veteranclaims’s Blog

February 19, 2011

VETSNET, C&P Replacement Program Doubles in Costs, VAOIG Report 09-03850-99

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 5:41 pm

Full Report at: Audit of the Veterans Service Network

Report Number 09-03850-99, 2/18/2011 | Full Report (PDF)

We conducted an audit of VETSNET to determine whether: effective controls have been implemented to address previously identified program governance deficiencies; schedule, cost, and performance goals for the program have been met; and effective change controls have been implemented to support the planning, testing, and implementation of the VETSNET suite of applications.

Since 1996, VA has been working to consolidate compensation and pension benefits processing into a single replacement system, called the Veterans Service Network (VETSNET). VA has addressed prior program governance deficiencies by establishing oversight groups, risk management processes, and software development gate reviews to provide greater visibility and control of VETSNET program activities. Despite these improvements, VETSNET faces the continuing challenge of managing competing mandates and new systems initiatives that have repeatedly changed the scope and direction of the program.

These changes have adversely impacted achieving schedule, cost, and performance goals over the life of the VETSNET program. Specifically, work to meet original program objectives has been delayed and consolidation of compensation and benefits processing has been extended by nearly 5 years since 2006. In 2006, the total cost projection for VETSNET was $151 million through 2009. In 2009, VA reported a revised cost estimate of $308 million through 2012, more than two times the previous amount. Planned system functionality enhancements also remain unaddressed.

Moreover, the competing priorities have resulted in changing business requirements, necessitating additional software releases to meet those requirements. Because software change controls and testing have not been adequate to ensure proper system functionality, software rework and rollback of installation packages have been required to correct defects, and planned functionality enhancements have been delayed.

We recommend the Assistant Secretary, Office of Information and Technology, clarify goals, align resources, and establish a schedule for accomplishing the goals of VETSNET in the near term. We also recommend that improved processes be implemented to address software development deficiencies. The Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and the Acting Under Secretary for Benefits agreed with our findings and recommendations. The OIG will monitor implementation of the action plans.

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