VA contracts worth $22 billion for IT, cybersecurity

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded 21 contracts worth up to $22.3 billion for IT infrastructure improvements, cybersecurity, and operations and network management.

The awards are part of VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation (T4NG) acquisition program. T4NG will deliver contractor-provided IT service solutions, including technical support; program management; strategy planning; systems/software engineering; enterprise network engineering; and cyber security, among other IT- and health-related IT requirements. The T4NG contract awards support the Department’s MyVA transformation effort, improving the way the VA serves Veterans.

“This T4NG award is one of the many ways the Department is supporting the MyVA breakthrough initiatives by directly providing the technology that our veterans need to support the services they receive from VA,” said Secretary Robert McDonald in a release. “The T4NG will help meet and strengthen VA’s long-term technology needs.”

Ten awards were made to Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses, two awards were made to small businesses and nine awards were made to large businesses, including Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton and IBM. 

Meanwhile, VA CIO LaVerne Council testified before U.S. House appropriators, saying the agency needs to reconsider whether its proprietary VistA system is the best EHR for its more than 1,200 healthcare sites.

Changes in the VA's healthcare delivery plan, such as emphasis on mobility, security and women's health, as well as connections with private sector providers, are driving the reconsideration.

Council said that, rather than modernize VistA, the VA will consider whether it should implement a commercial product. The Department of Defense recently replaced its in-house Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) with a Cerner EHR.