Report Summary

Title: Review of Alleged System Duplication in VA’s Virtual Office of Acquisition Software Development Project
Report Number: 12-02708-301
Issue Date: 9/18/2013
VA Office: Office of Acquisitions, Logistics, and Construction (OALC)
Office of Information and Technology (OIT)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Audits, Reviews & Evaluations
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: We conducted this review to assess the merits of an anonymous Hotline allegation that the Virtual Office of Acquisition (VOA) software development project was not managed under VA’s Project Management Accountability System (PMAS) control and oversight. The complainant also alleged the VOA project was unnecessary because VA already owned a system that met 95 percent of VOA’s requirements. We substantiated the allegation that the VOA software development project was not managed under PMAS. Technology Acquisition Center (TAC) officials believed that because the Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction (OALC) was managing VOA development, the project did not need PMAS oversight provided by VA’s Office of Information and Technology (OIT). As such, the software development project was not centrally evaluated to ensure it would support the best mix of projects to minimize duplication and maximize VA’s investment in information technology. We partially substantiated the allegation that VOA development was unnecessary. We found VA owned the Electronic Contract Management System (eCMS), OALC’s mandatory contract management system, which VOA functionality partially duplicated. The TAC did not develop a business case, as required under PMAS. Submitting a business case under PMAS could have minimized duplication and maximized VA’s investment. By developing duplicative eCMS functionality, VA potentially incurred unnecessary costs of approximately $13 million. We recommended the Principal Executive Director for OALC implement controls to ensure that all future software developments fall under PMAS control. We further recommended the TAC be required to submit a business case justifying how the costs associated with duplicative system requirements and future system maintenance will be managed moving forward. The Principal Executive Director for OALC concurred with our recommendations and provided acceptable corrective action plans. However, he disagreed with our allegation findings. We now consider our recommendations closed.