Foreign hackers may still have access to VA networks, IG says

The Department of Veterans Affairs is still “actively monitoring” VA networks for traces of foreign hackers that successfully infiltrated its computer systems in 2010, and officials acknowledge that some of those groups may still have access to VA systems through unauthorized user accounts.

VA readies scheduling RFP amid onslaught of security challenges

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to release the long-awaited request for proposals next week.

McDonald makes good on pledge to restructure Veterans Affairs

Ninety days into his tour of duty as secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald has introduced what is being called the largest restructuring in the agency’s history. But does it go far enough and fast enough?

OPM targets vets for federal STEM jobs

The Office of Personnel Management has a plan to tackle two of the nation’s most pressing workforce challenges: the shortage of qualified STEM professionals and helping military veterans find meaningful employment as they transition back into civilian life.

Veterans get look at emerging VA telehealth system

The Department of Veterans Affairs provided representatives of some of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations Thursday with a demonstration of the agency’s emerging telehealth system and clinical video telehealth scheduling software, both of which are designed to improve access to VA health services for veterans.

White House unveils executive order to strengthen financial security

In the wake of major credit card breaches at Target, Home Depot and J.P. Morgan over the past year, a new executive order from President Barack Obama will require consumer-facing federal agencies to upgrade their point of sale terminals to a more safe, encrypted technology by the start of 2015.

VA official at center of FedBid scandal allowed to retire

Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration procurement official who was removed from her position after an inspector general report accused her of “acting as an agent” of a private contractor, announced her resignation and retirement Tuesday.

Exclusive: VA moving to close internal VistA security gap

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been working aggressively to eliminate dozens of instances of an internal security vulnerability that could allow individuals with the right set of skills and tools to gain unauthorized access to veterans data, the VA confirmed in an exclusive interview with FedScoop.

VA begins process to remove official at center of FedBid scandal

Less than a week after the Energy Department withdrew an offer of employment to Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration’s deputy chief procurement officer at the center of a procurement scandal involving FedBid, the VA announced Monday it has started the formal process of removing Taylor from her position at the agency.

VA teams with Walgreens on vaccinations, electronic data sharing

A new partnership announced Thursday between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Walgreens — the nation’s largest drugstore chain — will not only provide vaccinations to veterans around the country but will leverage a cloud-based electronic health record infrastructure to share that data directly and securely with the VA.

VA official investigated for fraud loses lucrative DOE gig

The Energy Department has withdrawn an offer to hire Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration’s deputy chief procurement officer, because of an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general that found Taylor violated numerous federal procurement laws and regulations.

Congressman demands action on VA-FedBid scandal

A prominent Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee is pressuring VA Secretary Bob McDonald to take punitive actions against a former senior procurement officer found to have violated multiple procurement laws and regulations and to examine what the future should be for the contractor at the heart of the scandal.

VA refines scheduling contract timing, sees progress on broad tech front

Stephen Warren, the chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said Tuesday a final contract award for a new commercial scheduling system will likely happen in January and not by the end of 2014 as originally planned because of “an extensive amount of industry feedback” received on the system’s performance work statement.

Reverse auctioneer FedBid slammed by VA inspector general

It started out as an investigation into one procurement officer’s interference with a contract review. But before it was over it involved an attempted character “assassination” and “significant measures to disrupt and deprive” the Department of Veterans Affairs’ ability “to transact official business honestly and impartially, free from improper and undue influence.”

Critical vulnerabilities discovered in VA business portal

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been working to fix multiple critical security vulnerabilities in one of its major public-facing Web portals that links to a massive database containing personal and financial information on millions of veteran business owners.

Are the keys to interoperable health IT hidden outside the health care field?

Some leading health IT experts say the key to finding new ideas to modernize the health care industry is to not look in the health care industry. So where are those ideas hiding?

NSTIC head Jeremy Grant wants to kill passwords

I may have been a little hasty last week when I predicted that the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace may “never see the light of day,” and this week NSTIC head Jeremy Grant let me know it.

NSTIC is moving forward, but does it even have a chance?

How would the implementation of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace actually work, or could it even work?

New VA secretary sets sights on major agency reforms

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald outlined for the first time Monday his strategic vision for a new, efficient and innovative VA. The bottom line: Today’s VA is too complex, too hierarchical and needs to be flipped on its head.

VA forming Digital Service Team, recruiting experts

The Department of Veterans Affairs is actively recruiting a cadre of top-level developers, designers and digital product managers to form a new Digital Service Team to create and re-design the digital interfaces that veterans and the private sector rely upon to interact with the agency.

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