IT is uncertain — VA over budget

A good deal of my writing is about Information Technology and what it has and is expected to deliver. It all sounds good and then every once in a while there is a news story that reminds us that promises are not the same as delivery. Here’s a July 10 article from NextGov – TECHNOLOGY and the BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT

[VA CIO Roger] Baker has examined more than 280 VA projects and found many were at least 13 months behind schedule, more than half exceeded initial cost estimates and the quality of software had decreased substantially between releases.

[Department Secretary Eric] Shinseki indicated in June that VA could halt development of IT projects that are behind schedule, saying it would “prevent wasteful spending and demand accountability from everyone involved in delivering and supporting the technologies that will help transform the VA.”

Robert Charette, a risk management consultant who works with federal agencies, said Baker faced a daunting task to thoroughly evaluate 280 IT projects between now and Oct. 1, the start of the 2010 fiscal year. Baker “needs to do this right, as he will only get one chance” and he should not be forced to work against a tight deadline, he said.

Robert Charette, a risk management consultant who works with federal agencies, …  agreed that the Senate should restrict development funding until Baker completes his review because some projects could be canceled and others could require more funding than VA requested in its fiscal 2010 IT budget proposal drawn up months ago.

Something about the the fat lady singing …

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