Information Resources:

Management Commitment Needed to Meet Information Challenges

IMTEC-90-27: Published: Apr 19, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 1990.

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Jack L. Brock, Jr
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GAO assessed the effectiveness of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) information resources management (IRM) in supporting its mission, focusing on central VA IRM management practices and VA information needs.

GAO found that: (1) VA information systems did not readily provide management with data to effectively assess, monitor, and manage its expensive programs, because of antiquated, inefficient, and nonintegrated automated systems; (2) VA managers could not easily obtain information on performance indicators to monitor and analyze VA health care; (3) VA had significant problems in recruiting and retaining nurses and could not easily get information to analyze attrition or retention data, resulting in outdated reports to congressional committees; (4) VA central office managers had no information to determine whether medical centers appropriately verified physicians' credentials; (5) VA program benefit information was not formatted to allow managers to effectively monitor benefit processing activities or answer congressional questions; (6) VA lacked reliable cost information that would enable it to determine whether VA effectively used its resources to administer health care; and (7) the VA system includes redundant information and requires labor-intensive manual processing, creating errors that delay service. GAO also found that: (1) VA lacked a long-term agency planning process to support its mission; (2) VA had neither fully developed nor effectively implemented IRM policies; and (3) major VA components operated autonomously, thereby hindering effective implementation of the IRM program.

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