Veterans Benefits Modernization:

Further Service Improvement Depends on Coordinated Approach

T-AIMD/HEHS-95-184: Published: Jun 22, 1995. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Veterans Benefits Administration's (VBA) efforts to reengineer its claims processing system. GAO noted that: (1) veterans benefits claims totalling more than $19.4 billion were processed through 58 regional offices in fiscal year 1994; (2) VBA has responded to recommendations submitted by a blue-ribbon panel by developing four organizational models to guide regional offices in realigning claims processing duties; (3) the Department's chief information resources officer lacks the authority to resolve problems with the modernization effort and ensure that the new system will deliver improved service; (4) VBA has not been able to specify overall systems development and life-cycle costs, and expected benefits remain unquantified even though VBA has conducted over 130 feasibility studies; and (5) a central point of authority must be designated to ensure improved and cost-effective service to veterans.

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