Senate boosts 2007 VA IT budget by $42 million

The Senate boosted the information technology budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs by $42 million in its fiscal 2007 budget to $1.256 billion from $1.214 billion in 2006 in its version of the Military Construction and VA Appropriations bill passed Nov. 14.

The House has yet to pass its version of the bill, which funds the VA, but in May the House Appropriations Committee’s Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee approved a VA IT budget of $1.3 billion for 2007.

The House has limited time to pass its bill in the ongoing lame-duck congressional session, which will end in mid-December. Both bills then go through a conference process in which differences between the bills are worked out.

The Senate bill restricts any VA spending on IT systems until they meet the Office of Management and Budget capital planning and investment control review polices conform to VA enterprise architecture guidelines and enterprise life cycle methodology.

The 2007 Senate Military Construction and VA Appropriations bill also provides a $28.7 billion budget for VA medical services, and combines medical services and medical administration into one account. The House bill provides $24.7 billion for medical services and $3.3 billion for medial administration. The 2006 budget for VA medical services was $22.8 billion.

The 2007 Senate bill appropriated $6.5 billion for military construction and provides $5.2 billion for construction work resulting from the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.


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