Quick Hits

*** As the U.S. Army braces for trimmer budgets in fiscal 2022, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said that "everything that we do and everything about how we do it" is on the table in a servicewide analysis of modernization programs, infrastructure, and force structure.

Wormuth, who spoke to reporters Oct. 11 at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, said the analysis is pre-decisional, but will focus on program scalability, costs and schedules among other things, and will be part of an iterative process to make sure the Army has the right mix of capabilities.

"We're looking at how can we be innovative, how can we do more with what we have, what kinds of force structure do we need to make sure that we're relevant for the future warfighter," Wormuth said, "it is essential that we transform for the future, and the modernization program that we've embarked on is a critical piece of that transformation."

*** The Department of Veterans Affairs is supporting, with some caveats, a bill to require frequent reporting on direct and indirect costs of its 10-year plan to implement commercial electronic health record software. The project, initially costed at about $16 billion, has sprawled to over $21 billion based on spending on infrastructure and facilities associated with the software upgrade. The VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act of 2021 is sponsored by Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-Ind.), the chairman of the House Veteran's Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Technology Modernization. The department wants some flexibility on reporting times and clarification on other reporting requirements, according to a statement presented at a subcommittee hearing Oct. 7.

*** Palantir Technologies is moving on to the next phase of developing the Army's Distributed Common Ground System, the service's main battlefield intelligence system. Washington Technology has more on this story.

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