Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is requesting James Gfrerer, chief information officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to address the VA’s information technology problems as its newest CIO, according to Tester’s letter dated Jan. 11.
Tester cited a number of issues the VA’s Office of Information and Technology has been facing, including the inefficiency of the department to provide GI Bill housing stipends; modernizing the VA’s Electronic Health Records; and the need to go beyond maintaining current IT systems for the department’s medical centers.
“There is no doubt that insufficient resources, a chronic lack of transparency, and an inability to effectively prioritize countless competing objectives have led to serious questions about VA’s ability to meet the standard of technology necessary to serve our nation’s veterans,” he wrote.
Tester recommends Gfrerer create a list of VA IT projects that need funding and prioritization. He's willing to work with Gfrerer to resolve the department’s current IT challenges. Grerer was confirmed as VA CIO on Jan. 3 during the 115th Congress.