Report Summary

Title: Review of Alleged Failure of the National Work Queue To Perform in Production
Report Number: 16-01401-295 Download
Issue Date: 8/10/2017
VA Office: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
Office of Information and Technology (OIT)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type:
Release Type: Unrestricted

In November 2015, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) received an anonymous Hotline complaint alleging that the VA National Work Queue (NWQ) did not perform in a production environment because VA did not test the system to specification. In addition, the complaint claimed that the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) Release 9.1 deployment prevented the processing of 4,000 disability claims. We did not substantiate that NWQ failed to perform in a production environment. At the time of the allegation, NWQ was still in testing and was not processing claims. Moreover, we noted that seven of eight VA Regional Office (VARO) pilot sites reported that NWQ functionality worked when they first started using it to process disability claims in February 2016. One site reported that claims did not automatically route from NWQ into employee queues on the first day. We determined that VA tested NWQ functionality to specification. We reviewed applicable VBMS development artifacts that supported NWQ functionality to include system deployment requirements, configuration control records, test plans, and test cases. From February through June 2016, we noted that the average time for the actual NWQ claims distributions was one hour and 57 minutes; better than the four hour performance standard. We did not find that NWQ functionality had a negative effect upon disability claims processing. Specifically, we noted that none of the eight pilot sites reported lost disability claims resulting from the NWQ implementation. At the time of the allegation, NWQ was not yet used to process claims. We did not find that VBMS Release 9.1 had a significant adverse effect on claims processing, such as preventing the processing of 4,000 disability claims. Accordingly, we made no recommendations for improvements.