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VA Eyes Sweeping Tech Initiative

Veterans Affairs is seeking input on a proposed IT contract that would cover the "entire spectrum" of systems and applications.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a request for comment on a potentially major IT effort called the Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology program, or T4.

According to the document, posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site, the VA is planning to award a multivendor contract for services and hardware for "requirements that span across the entire spectrum of existing and future technical environments, systems, lifecycle and applications."

Under T4, contractors would provide everything from program management and strategic planning to engineering, network management, cybersecurity, and facilities management on a global scale. They'll also be called on to do classified and potentially top secret work.

VA CIO Roger Baker overhauled project management at the agency after taking the reins there earlier this year, and contracts now come under monthly and quarterly project reviews. "If we have a problem, I expect you to tell us about it, even if it's not good for your business, because in the long term, it is, and it's good for the veterans," Baker said in a speech.

The VA didn't disclose how much T4 will cost, though Baker has said that much of the agency's $3.3 billion 2010 IT budget could be outsourced. The VA will award a five-year contract with one two-year option.

In 2003, the VA outsourced work to 10 companies, including IBM, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Unisys, CSC, and SAIC, under its eight-year, $3 billion Global Information Technology Support Services contract.

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