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Veteran’s Affairs (VA)

Veteran’s Affairs Mission Statement

To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.

VA Strategic Plan

  1. Improve the quality and accessibility of health care, benefits, and memorial services while optimizing value.
  2. Increase Veteran client satisfaction with health, education, training, counseling, financial, and burial benefits and services.
  3. Raise readiness to provide services and protect people and assets continuously and in time of crisis.
  4. Improve internal customer satisfaction with management systems and support services to achieve mission performance and make VA an employer of choice by investing in human capital.

Assessment

The department is at a nexus of critically important federal missions plus emerging needs for enhanced automation and IT upgrades to serve their mission. And because of their mission, privacy in IT is critically important. Expect the cyber demands to be key in IT procurements.

Cyber/Information Technology Movements

VA has been lagging behind most of the federal agencies in adopting Personal Identification Verification (PIV) cards to ensure secure access. Many of the department’s IT projects are in danger of not delivering, as reported on:http://it.usaspending.gov/

Items of Interest

VA Awards $12B in IT Contracts

Fourteen contractors will share $12B over five years of an ID/IQ program. The program, Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) will provide systems and software engineering, cybersecurity and facilities support. It appears that unless one has a current VA or was a winner, only very small projects will be possible with the VA.

VA services migrating to cloud

VA will migrate the following services to the cloud

  • Email
  • Claims Management

VA Moves forward with $15B acquisition

The VA has a huge modernization contract named “Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4).” It is a five-year program. It expects to award 15 contracts, including 7 designed for small businesses. This contract will be used to purchase program management support, systems and software engineering, test and evaluation, enterprise network services, cybersecurity, training and IT facilities.

Recent News/Quotes

  • Many users had been caught transmitting unencrypted faxes – which led to a cyber security audit
  • VA has been pointed out by the GAO as the easiest target for cyber crime
  • It seems that the VA needs help from top to bottom, determing a cyber security strategy from top down – as well specific, targeted responses to:
    • information assurance
    • information sharing
  • VA received an additional $30M from the Senate this year, of which a large amount is to go to the TeleHealth Budget.
  • VA has already found themselves on the losing end of a large amount of security flaws/leaks, they need real security engineered into their TeleHealth system.
  • The VA experienced virus and malware infection of 122 networked medical devices, and needs to lock down 50K additional devices.
  • VA is expecting to have a new tool up in September that is supposed to provide real-time view of all computers and electronic devices on the network
    • this is supposed to provide real time view into patch status etc
    • also supposed to help w/ shrinkage
      • 61 machines reported lost/missing/stolen from June to August

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