Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

  • IG: Despite Promises, It’s Unclear If VA Can Eliminate Claims Backlog By End Of 2015

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is in danger of not meeting its goal of eliminating the disability backlog by the end of 2015, and costs continue to climb, a new inspector general report has found.

    Back in 2009, the VA kicked off an effort to modernize its benefits claims system to a paperless system with the goal of increasing efficiency and reducing errors. With a paperless system, the VA hopes to bring up accuracy in claims processing to 98 percent and to eliminate the backlog entirely by the end of 2015. The VA proposed 40 different initiatives to complete the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).

    While claims have been reduced, it’s not clear that VBMS had anything to do with the reduction, as no metrics exist to make that judgment.

    Since 2009, the costs of modernization have ballooned from $579.2 million to $1.3 billion in 2015 — a 120 percent increase — because of poor cost controls and contracting practices as well as abrupt changes in business requirements.

    The future is not promising.

    “Given the changing requirements and competing priorities that have repeatedly changed the scope and direction of the program, VBMS costs continue to spiral upward and final end-state costs remain unknown,” the inspector general’s report noted.

    Simply put, the VA has prioritized bringing the backlog down over fiscal prudence, which led the department to engage in shoddy contracting practices. The VA often neglected to perform market analyses to determine if contracts were in the best interests of the government.

    Additionally, the software is plagued with performance problems. Constant delays leading to system crashes make life difficult for VA employees. Some users refer to the system lockups as the “spinning eagle of death,” which is the VA seal displayed during operations.

    “Such issues forced users to frequently reboot and relogin to the system, resulting in frustration and potential claims processing delays,” the report said.

    Slow development has resulted in additional costs since legacy systems require maintenance alongside the VBMS.

    Finally, the VA does not have a method of ensuring a good return on investment. In addition, the total cost of the new system is still unknown, as no one has bothered to perform the necessary analysis. The inspector general remains unsure whether the VA is capable of eliminating the backlog by the end of 2015.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

    Powered by WPeMatico


    Surge Wire

    Breaking news and analysis from around the globe courtesy of Daily Surge.

    Join the discussion. Leave a comment.

    We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.





    Trending Now on Daily Surge

    Send this to friend