Information Systems:

Veterans Administration Information Resources Management Is Improving

IMTEC-88-17: Published: Jan 27, 1988. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Veterans Administration's (VA) management of information resources, focusing on its progress in: (1) overseeing systems development; (2) reducing data duplication and increasing data sharing; (3) upgrading its telecommunications system; and (4) training users of automatic data processing (ADP) systems.

GAO found that VA had: (1) pursued in-house development projects without conducting the required cost-benefit or alternative strategies analyses; (2) not achieved goals for eliminating duplicate data and increasing data sharing between agency departments; (3) proceeded with an agency-wide telecommunications network procurement without an updated assessment of the quantitative and qualitative effects of major ADP system redesigns; and (4) not adequately explored opportunities for further centralizing ADP training. GAO also found that VA took several steps to improve information resource management, including: (1) clarifying systems development responsibilities; (2) creating a data directory and a management board to identify data-sharing opportunities; (3) revalidating requirements for its telecommunications system before soliciting vendor proposals; and (4) studying the potential for more cost-effective ADP training by reducing the number of locally developed training programs and expanding development at the national level.

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