House Panel Seeking To Give Roger Baker’s Office More Funds

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The House Appropriations Committee has proposed a budget authorizing a 6.5 percent increase in the information technology budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs, reports Alice Lipowicz for Federal Computer Week.

The bill proposes a $3.3 billion budget for VA’s IT systems, a $200 million raise for VA CIO Roger Baker’s office from the previous fiscal year.

Lawmakers proposed a $2.3 billion increase in total funding for the VA, or $60.7 billion for fiscal 2013.

The VA’s IT office is overseeing major projects involving health records, including development of an integrated EHR system with the Defense Department.

Harris Corp. holds an $80 million contract to develop that system.

Under the proposed spending bill, 75 percent of funds for that project are withheld until the VA submits a comprehensive spending plan and long-term road map to Congress.

That plan must show year-to-year spending details, milestones for progress, cost-sharing arrangements and a schedule for data standardization, Lipowicz reported.

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