VA moves closer to IT modernization decision
Expects strategy to be set by year's end
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Aug 11, 2010
The Veterans Affairs expects to make a decision by year’s end about modernizing its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) record system, which could be a huge IT undertaking.
Is open source the answer for VA?
Before moving forward it will issue several requests for information from industry before the decision, VA chief information officer Roger Baker said in a conference call with reporters.
Baker said the department expects to make a decision on a modernization strategy by year’s end. Several requests for information will be published to solicit additional input from experts, he said.
“We have a lot of experts to hear from,” Baker said. “At the same time, it is important that we not unduly delay. In the next four to five months, we will hear from a variety of folks.”
In 2009, Baker asked the Industry Advisory Council to advise the VA on the modernization. Ed Meagher, chair of the IAC VistA Modernization Working Group, delivered a recommendation in May that the VA proceed with an open-source development program to replace VistA.
Asked about that recommendation, Baker said it was “good advice. It is being incorporated into our thought processes.” He also said it was important that the group’s recommendation was made public to “stimulate the discussion” about VistA’s future.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.