VA may revive canceled scheduling program

Replacement Scheduling Application Development program may get new lease on life, albeit in a different format

The Veterans Affairs Department has stopped development of its Replacement Scheduling Application Development program, but the IT project still could be revived, a senior VA official said today.

The scheduling system project, which has cost an estimated $167 million, is one of 12 IT projects canceled by the department, Stephen Warren, the VA’s principal deputy assistant secretary for information and technology, said following a breakfast meeting in Virginia.

VA officials in July 2009 suspended 45 underperforming IT projects and initiated a new program management system. To date, 32 projects have been restarted, 12 have been terminated and one is still suspended.


Related story:

VA pulls plug on failing IT projects, saves $54M


A list of 12 terminated projects distributed by the VA on Feb. 24 included a reference to a “Scheduling Application.” Warren confirmed that item refers to the Replacement Scheduling Application Development project. The program is meant to enable veterans to electronically schedule patient appointments at VA centers.

However, Warren said today the replacement scheduling program is likely to be revived in a different format, with a different approach and a different project name.

“The requirement has not gone away,” Warren said. “The need is critical.”

Although the replacement scheduling development program “was not working” and “did not succeed,” according to Warren, the VA continues to examine other options for the program to fulfill the need for a scheduling system. Furthermore, other projects on the terminated list of 12 projects may be reexamined and revived as well, he added.

“We are looking at every need and its priority,” Warren said.

Warren spoke with an FCW reporter following a meeting sponsored by the AFCEA Bethesda, Md. chapter.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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