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1:45 pm, November 23, 2014

Veterans Affairs News

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Agencies delivering IT capabilities 20 days faster by using agile, OMB says

The Office of Management and Budget says PortfolioStat data is proving the positive impact agile development is having on IT projects. The U.S. Digital Service is providing both help and training to expand the understanding and use of agile development.

Friday - 11/21/2014, 04:23am EST
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Emily Kopp, Reporter, Federal News Radio

The first case of a fired Senior Executive Service member at the Department of Veterans Affairs has a decision from the Merit Systems Protection Board. Federal News Radio's Emily Kopp tells In Depth with Francis Rose that SESer isn't an SESer any more.

Thursday - 11/20/2014, 04:19pm EST
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Merit Board upholds senior exec's firing in VA scandal

The Merit Systems Protection Board has affirmed the Veterans Affairs Department's decision to ax James Talton, one of the first senior executives targeted under a new law that speeds up the removal process. Talton headed the Central Alabama Veterans Administration Healthcare System.

Thursday - 11/20/2014, 11:45am EST

VA to spend $60 million more on cyber after auditors' continued concerns

Steph Warren, VA's CIO, said he moved money out of projects and into cybersecurity to ensure the agency gets rid of as many material weaknesses as they can. The decision to move money comes as Congress turns back up the heat on VA to correct long-standing and systemic cyber shortcomings.

Tuesday - 11/18/2014, 12:56pm EST

John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

The Veterans Affairs Department finally fired Terry Gerigk Wolf last week. The former director of the Pittsburgh VA center had been on paid leave since June following a review of a Legionnaire's disease outbreak that claimed the lives of six patients there. Wolf is the fourth senior executive to be removed under the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014. John Palguta is vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what that firing means for the future of due process protections for federal employees.

Tuesday - 11/18/2014, 09:55am EST
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James Tuchschmidt, Veterans Affairs Department

The Veterans Affairs Department has reduced wait times for tens of thousands of veterans seeking health care. Part of the progress comes from the congressionally-mandated Veterans Choice program. It requires the VA to issue choice cards to vets so they can seek medical care from private providers with VA footing the bill. VA issued the first batch of cards this month. James Tuchschmidt, acting principal deputy undersecretary for health at the VA, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the rollout and the program.

Tuesday - 11/18/2014, 09:30am EST
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VA's two-step toward a new patient scheduling system

VA will release by Nov. 21 a request for proposals for a new commercial scheduling system and integration services for that scheduling software with its VISTA health IT system.

Monday - 11/17/2014, 04:15am EST

VA fails cybersecurity audit for 16th straight year

The Veterans Affairs Department will not receive the final results for its 2014 FISMA audit until next spring, but auditors already have informed IT officials that they've identified material weaknesses for the 16th year in a row. Department IT officials say progress on closing IG recommendations and securing their systems and data is real.

Monday - 11/17/2014, 03:46am EST
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VA fires Pittsburgh hospital network's director

Thursday - 11/13/2014, 03:10pm EST

Kim Hayes, CEO and Co-Founder, Ambit Group

The reorganization at the Veterans Affairs Department is a rebranding effort in many ways. VA Secretary Bob McDonald will hire a chief customer service officer to try to reverse an image of poor quality care for its customers. Kim Hayes, CEO and co-founder of Ambit Group, is also a finalist for Executive of Year at the 2014 GovCon awards. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose about Ambit Group's data-centric approach to agency reorganization.

Thursday - 11/13/2014, 02:14pm EST
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Roger Waldron, President, Coalition for Government Procurement

A scholarship for veterans who want to be your agency's next acquisition leaders is now available. The Coalition for Government Procurement unveils it in its 35th anniversary celebration. Roger Waldron, president of the coalition, told In Depth with Francis Rose about the celebration.

Thursday - 11/13/2014, 02:10pm EST
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VA chief vows renewed focus on customer service

VA Secretary McDonald says "MyVA" initiative intended to refocus agency on customer service

Thursday - 11/13/2014, 12:30pm EST

VA and the office of redundancy office

Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald is making news with his plans to reorganize the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jeff Neal, senior vice president for ICF International, says the Secretary's moves are a good start because VA, like most large agencies, has its fair share of redundant organizations.

Thursday - 11/13/2014, 02:51am EST

Bob Tobias, Professor, Key Executive Leadership Programs

The largest reorganization in Veterans Affairs Department history won't look like most re-orgs you've seen before. That's according to Bob Tobias -- he's professor of Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said the organizational chart at the VA won't see the changes most other agencies do.

Wednesday - 11/12/2014, 04:27pm EST
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Threat to discipline 1,000 VA employees draws cheers and jeers

The biggest reorganization effort in VA history is underway, says Secretary Bob McDonald. His reform plan includes hiring a Chief Customer Service Officer and imposing disciplinary action on more than 1,000 employees. And while some praise McDonald's quick and decisive actions, others are urging a different approach that gives the accused an opportunity to respond.

Wednesday - 11/12/2014, 10:56am EST
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From Army sniper to IT professional: One vet's story of his transition to civilian life

It may seem like a leap to go from Army sniper to a career helping federal agencies deliver great online customer service and software development practices. But that's the story of Randy Tharp. A wounded warrior of two tours of duty in Iraq, he's also had two tours of duty as a federal civilian employee before heading to the Five-Nine Group.

Tuesday - 11/11/2014, 12:09pm EST

What are you doing to help our returning heroes transition to civilian jobs?

More than 1 million veterans are expected to re-enter the workforce during the next five years and it's the business community's responsibility to help them, says Deloitte's Janet Foutty. She says the nation owes it to today's newest veterans to help them find the right opportunities, the right access to education and the chance to enjoy the future they fought so hard to protect.

Tuesday - 11/11/2014, 02:23am EST

Verna Jones, Executive Director, American Legion

This Veterans Day will be one of transition at the Veterans Affairs Department. New secretary Bob McDonald has taken steps to minimize delays at veterans health centers across the country and show he's holding employees accountable. Now he wants to embark on a major reorganization of the department. One of the people watching closely is Verna Jones, the new executive director of the American Legion. Jones tells Federal News Radio's Emily Kopp that she sees progress at the VA but there's still so much more to improve.

Monday - 11/10/2014, 11:16am EST
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VA chief: 1,000 workers face disciplinary action

VA secretary says 1,000 agency workers face discipline or firing in wake of wait-time scandal

Saturday - 11/08/2014, 12:52pm EST

Legion sees hurdles amid the progress at VA

Six month after the American Legion led the call for then-Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation, Executive Director Verna Jones says she has no regrets. "We got it right," she said. "Because of that change, things are happening." Fewer veterans are waiting weeks for appointments, but Jones sees much that needs improvement at the VA.

Friday - 11/07/2014, 04:05pm EST
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