New IT subcommittee to debut in 114th Congress

Less than a week after the Federal Information Technology Acquisition and Reform Act and several cybersecurity-related pieces of legislation passed the U.S. House and Senate to close out the 113th Congress, the head of the next Congress’ Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced a new subcommittee devoted solely to IT.

Veterans Affairs 2014: The year of being held accountable

There’s little question that the Department of Veterans Affairs had a bad year in 2014. Systemic leadership failures rippled through the entire enterprise, from administration of patient care to management and oversight of major technology programs. Those failures resulted in a campaign led by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to force a much-needed agencywide reorganization — the largest in VA’s 84-year history.

Former VA contracting official under investigation

The Treasury Department’s inspector general has launched an investigation into a senior procurement official who was found to have steered multimillion dollar contracts to a friend’s company when she served as the executive director of the Office of Acquisition Operations at the Veterans Affairs Department, FedScoop has learned.

Justice Department releases two APIs as part of new digital services

Justice Department unveiled the DOJ News API and the DOJ Law Jobs API, which enable Web developers to build mobile apps, websites and other software applications that can search, sort and filter through the department’s press releases, blog posts, speeches and job vacancies.

FDA official to innovators: be ‘charmingly persistent’

Federal officials talk about how private industry can help meet the needs of the federal government.

Watch VA CIO Stephen Warren’s FedTalks 2014 presentation

Stephen Warren, chief information officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, spoke at FedScoop’s 2014 FedTalks on how the VA turned itself around with agile development.

VA releases commercial scheduling RFP

The Veterans Affairs Department released the long-awaited request for proposals today for the commercial scheduling system that will replace the agency’s existing patient scheduling module, which was at the center of a nationwide scandal involving falsified wait times and veteran deaths.

Reporter’s notebook: VA CIO strikes back

The 168 words that Stephen Warren added to his opening remarks just an hour before testifying on Capitol Hill Monday may have only lasted 58 seconds but they succeeded in putting the beleaguered chief information officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs back in control of his relationship with congress.

Foreign hackers may still have access to VA networks, IG says

The Department of Veterans Affairs is still “actively monitoring” VA networks for traces of foreign hackers that successfully infiltrated its computer systems in 2010, and officials acknowledge that some of those groups may still have access to VA systems through unauthorized user accounts.

VA readies scheduling RFP amid onslaught of security challenges

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to release the long-awaited request for proposals next week.

McDonald makes good on pledge to restructure Veterans Affairs

Ninety days into his tour of duty as secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald has introduced what is being called the largest restructuring in the agency’s history. But does it go far enough and fast enough?

OPM targets vets for federal STEM jobs

The Office of Personnel Management has a plan to tackle two of the nation’s most pressing workforce challenges: the shortage of qualified STEM professionals and helping military veterans find meaningful employment as they transition back into civilian life.

Veterans get look at emerging VA telehealth system

The Department of Veterans Affairs provided representatives of some of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations Thursday with a demonstration of the agency’s emerging telehealth system and clinical video telehealth scheduling software, both of which are designed to improve access to VA health services for veterans.

White House unveils executive order to strengthen financial security

In the wake of major credit card breaches at Target, Home Depot and J.P. Morgan over the past year, a new executive order from President Barack Obama will require consumer-facing federal agencies to upgrade their point of sale terminals to a more safe, encrypted technology by the start of 2015.

VA official at center of FedBid scandal allowed to retire

Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration procurement official who was removed from her position after an inspector general report accused her of “acting as an agent” of a private contractor, announced her resignation and retirement Tuesday.

Exclusive: VA moving to close internal VistA security gap

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been working aggressively to eliminate dozens of instances of an internal security vulnerability that could allow individuals with the right set of skills and tools to gain unauthorized access to veterans data, the VA confirmed in an exclusive interview with FedScoop.

VA begins process to remove official at center of FedBid scandal

Less than a week after the Energy Department withdrew an offer of employment to Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration’s deputy chief procurement officer at the center of a procurement scandal involving FedBid, the VA announced Monday it has started the formal process of removing Taylor from her position at the agency.

VA teams with Walgreens on vaccinations, electronic data sharing

A new partnership announced Thursday between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Walgreens — the nation’s largest drugstore chain — will not only provide vaccinations to veterans around the country but will leverage a cloud-based electronic health record infrastructure to share that data directly and securely with the VA.

VA official investigated for fraud loses lucrative DOE gig

The Energy Department has withdrawn an offer to hire Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration’s deputy chief procurement officer, because of an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general that found Taylor violated numerous federal procurement laws and regulations.

Congressman demands action on VA-FedBid scandal

A prominent Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee is pressuring VA Secretary Bob McDonald to take punitive actions against a former senior procurement officer found to have violated multiple procurement laws and regulations and to examine what the future should be for the contractor at the heart of the scandal.

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