FedScoop: Lawmakers push back on VA’s plan to use ‘opaque’ fund for IT modernization

“Lawmakers aren’t very bullish about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ new plan to repurpose funds from other accounts to fund its IT modernization projects, they said in a hearing Thursday.”

“Some members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Technology Modernization Subcommittee equated the VA’s recent request to take $670 million from its Transformational Fund (TF) account to supplement its $4.8 billion proposed budget for IT in fiscal 2022 to taking from an ‘opaque, uncertain slush fund.’ Doing so puts VA’s overall proposed IT budget for next year at roughly $5.5 billion, compared to the $4.9 billion VA received in fiscal 2021.”

“’I need a lot more information about the Transformational Fund to be convinced it will be a reliable productive funding source,’ subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., said during the hearing.”

“The Transformational Fund consists of past discretionary funds that went unused in prior appropriations cycles. Fiscal 2022 will be the first year that the VA can use money deposited in the fund, as the leftover appropriations need to sit untouched for five years before tapping into them. But there are limitations on what the VA can use them for, namely the improvement of health care facility infrastructure and ‘IT systems improvements and sustainment,’ per the law…” Read the full article here.

Source: Lawmakers push back on VA’s plan to use ‘opaque’ fund for IT modernization – By Jackson Barnett, July 1, 2021. FedScoop.

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