Veterans' Administration Justification of Costs and Benefits of Proposed Computer System (Target)

HRD-77-98: Published: Jul 20, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1977.

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The Veterans' Administration's (VA) proposed computer system, the Target System, is intended to modernize benefit claims processing and to improve service to veterans. The VA estimates that the system will cost over $100 million to develop and over $12 million each year to operate.

The VA has proceeded with the development of the Target System without an economic analyses of the proposed system or of alternative ways of meeting its benefit claims processing needs. The VA had not established measurable goals or standards for improved service to veterans. Therefore, it had no basis for comparing alternative approaches or for determining whether systems less complex and expensive than Target could do the job. Although major cost savings are possible, Target's costs could exceed the costs of the current benefit claims processing system.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should not permit the VA to award a contract for the Target System until it has set up the measurable goals and standards so that the most cost-effective way of processing benefit claims can be determined. If Congress determines that the VA has satisfactorily resolved these issues, VA should not be allowed to award a contract until it has resolved the uncertainties about progress of development and the cost and implementation schedule of the system.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of Veterans Affairs should establish in measurable terms goals and standards for improving benefit claims services to veterans.

    Agency Affected:


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