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*** Members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on both sides of the aisle are growing increasingly impatient with the stalled progress on the more than $21 billion IT project at the Department of Veterans Affairs to replace the agency's homegrown electronic health records system with a commercial system from vendor Cerner. Reps. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the chairman and ranking member of the committee, introduced a bill on Wednesday to consolidate cost accounting for the project and to keep Congress apprised of ongoing expenditures. Rep. Frank Mvran (D-Ind.), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, is also sponsoring the Electronic Health Record Transparency Act.

*** The General Services Administration's 8(a) STARS III contract vehicle covering small, disadvantaged business offerings in IT services was designated "Best In Class" by the Office of Management and Budget. STARS III has ceiling value of $50 billion.

*** The Department of Veterans Affairs announced a "reset" of its relations with labor unions that represent more than 280,000 workers at the agency. VA reestablished the National Partnership Council, a forum for labor-management communication that was dissolved under the Trump administration and reinstituted official time for clinical employees covered by Title 38. Official time – which allows unionized employees to conduct union business while on the job – was dramatically pared back at VA and across government under the Trump administration, partly via an executive order that was repealed by the Biden administration.

Posted on Jul 22, 2021 at 2:24 AM


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