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In August, as President Barack Obama stood in front of the Disabled American Veterans Convention and publicly hailed the success of a new health care enrollment app on Vets.gov, the system had actually been spinning out of control for months, losing thousands of applications, locking records, and allowing officials to mark veterans ineligible for benefits without legal justification, according to hundreds of pages of internal documents obtained by MeriTalk. […]

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The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that the Department of Homeland Security and Hiring our Heroes have teamed up to offer free online, on-demand cybersecurity training to government employees and veterans via DHS’ Federal Virtual Training Environment.






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A software upgrade gone wrong caused widespread system outages across the Veterans Affairs Department, officials confirmed Tuesday. The agency’s main website, VA.gov, as well as Vets.gov, associated websites, and apps were temporarily affected, a VA spokesperson told MeriTalk.






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It’s one of the centerpieces of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ transformation effort. But the so-called strategic sourcing initiative has some front-line IT employees worried that it’s really just a code word for outsourcing their jobs to the private sector. Strategic sourcing is at the heart of VA’s new IT enterprise strategy, and leverages the […] […]

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A MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY
 
The Road to Veterans Day
 
 With just two months remaining before Veterans Day 2014, it’s time for me to report to you on what we’ve accomplished in our first 30 days together and on what we intend to accomplish in our next 60 days.  Our “Road to Veterans Day” begins with our mission and our immediate objective: 
 
To better serve and care for those who have borne the battle and for their families and survivors.
 
To that end, we are moving quickly and decisively on three fronts:
 
·        Rebuilding trust with Veterans and other Stakeholders
·        Improving service delivery focusing on better Veteran outcomes
·        Setting the course for longer-term excellence and reform
 
We are already making important progress:
 
Rebuilding trust:  We have reaffirmed our commitment to our mission and our “I-CARE” values — Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence — and are working to make reaffirmation an annual requirement.  We’re also connecting with Veterans and VA employees during visits to the field, listening to their concerns and identifying both problems and solutions, and we’re demonstrating accountability by meeting with stakeholders, talking to the press, and taking action in cases of poor performance or wrongdoing.
 
Improving service delivery:  We already have the foundation of a great VA Strategic Plan; now we are preparing to renew and redeploy that plan to set performance requirements that clearly link the mission to individual performance plans.  We are also developing better ways to gauge Veteran satisfaction, instituting the organizational strategy known as “Lean Management” throughout more of VA, and exploring options for reorganizing VA along common regional service boundaries, with integrated organizations focused on service to the Veteran as viewed by the Veteran.  We’re calling the concept “My VA” because that’s how Veterans should

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been consumed with transformation for the past 21 months, attempting to change from what Secretary Robert McDonald has privately described as a “Kremlinesque” culture to a high performing organization that puts veterans in control of their healthcare. That transformation effort, known as MyVA, is McDonald’s direct response to the […] […]

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