Legislators voice frustrations with VA handling of benefits management system

Lawmakers are growing impatient with the Department of Veterans Affairs over its electronic benefits management system, according to a report from Nextgov.

While some improvements have been made, the VA "has not yet produced a plan that identifies when the system will be completed," the Government Accountability Office said in a recent report.

During a House committee meeting this week, lawmakers voiced their frustrations both with a lack of a clear timeline and at the price tag. The project has cost more than $1 billion since 2009, Nextgov reported, while the expected cost was $579 million. Valerie Melvin, director of information technology at the GAO, was among the witnesses who testified at the hearing.

"You're going to go through the appropriations process this year and say, 'We want more money, but we don't know when this will end and what the final cost will be for a very specific project?'" Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said during the hearing. Report

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