VA CIO says department has $700M carryover money for IT
Carryover funding from 2009 and 2010 will pay for projects this year and next
The Veterans Affairs Department’s anticipated IT budget cutback for fiscal 2012 is being offset by a $700 million in carryover savings from previous years that will go toward new and existing IT programs, according to Roger Baker, the VA's CIO.
Overall, the VA's IT unit is seeking $3.16 billion for fiscal 2012 compared with an enacted $3.3 billion in fiscal 2010, said Baker.
However, the IT division has $700 million left over from fiscal 2009 and 2010 generated by savings from canceling ineffective programs, Baker said. Those programs were identified through the Program Management Accountability System process over the past 21 months, he said. They included an enrollment system redesign and pharmacy re-engineering project.
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The carryover money will be spent in fiscal 2011 and 2012, he said.
“I like the [fiscal 2012] budget request,” Baker told reporters in a conference call Feb. 24. “We are going to make better use of that carryover money. We can spend that money effectively.”
Programs that may benefit from the carryover funding include Post-9/11 GI Bill claims processing, reducing the Veterans Benefits Management System's backlog, and modernizing the VistA electronic health record system, Baker said.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.