ADP Systems:

Department of Veterans Benefits Modernization Program

IMTEC-88-3: Published: Oct 30, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1987.

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Melroy D. Quasney
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Veterans Administration's (VA) Department of Veterans Benefits' efforts to modernize automated computer systems which were resulting in inefficient and costly support for veterans' benefits programs.

GAO found that VA has begun several modernization projects, including: (1) organizing a separate automatic data processing (ADP) staff for the Department, independent of the central ADP office; (2) upgrading existing systems; (3) procuring $11 million in word processing hardware; (4) a requirements analysis; (5) a Department data dictionary; (6) a prototype regional loan system; and (7) designing a prototype optical disk system. GAO also found that: (1) although VA has begun modernization, it has not completed the planning and analysis necessary to demonstrate how it will achieve improved productivity; (2) VA plans to eliminate 1,100 staff positions; and (3) VA may be unable to complete modernization within the projected time frame and estimated cost.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On November 15, 1988, the Chief Benefits Director reported that all necessary actions have been completed on the GAO report. The development of the 12-Point Modernization Plan addressed the specific requirements of this recommendation. VA mailed a copy of the report to GAO.

    Recommendation: To ensure that modernization goals are achieved within established time frames and estimated costs, the Administrator of Veterans Affairs should direct the Department of Veterans Benefits to complete analyses that provide specific goals and objectives against which program progress can be measured, and to validate that the chosen solution is optimal, based on a documented analysis that clearly lays out the costs and benefits of alternatives.

    Agency Affected: Veterans Administration


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