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VA Seeks Funding Increase to Support Commercial IT Purchases

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The Departrment of Veterans Affairs is requesting for a 12 percent increase in funding to support commercial information technology procurement efforts under its IT office, FedScoop reported Thursday.

Paul Lawrence, the VA's undersecretary for benefits, said at a budget request hearing that the department seeks to procure a range of commercial off-the-shelf-offerings such as high-performance computers, customer management systems and other data-related capabilities to enable central processing and location of veteran information.

Surafeal Asgedom, chief modernizing officer at the VA, told attendees at a FedScoop event that COTS procurement has supported efforts like the VA’s online services consolidation initiative.

“It really requires industry partnerships,” he said. “The expectation is that veterans will have the same type of experience when they interact with us as well as when they interact with the private sector."