Rarely has the pending release of a federal government agency IDIQ occurred while the agency is generating so much news. Recent events surrounding the Veterans Administration include the appropriation of some $16 billion in new funding to address scheduling deficiencies uncovered at the agency and the resignation of the Secretary followed by appointment of a new Secretary, Robert McDonald. These events occurred in rapid succession as the Senate confirmed McDonald in just 30 days with a unanimous 97 to 0 vote. McDonald, an industry “turnaround” specialist, replaces Retired Army General Eric Shinseki, signaling an immediate future of intense change at the VA.
Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) Next Generation (NG) is a follow-on IDIQ to the original T4 program that is due to end June 2016 after a five-year run. T4NG will be a five-year base contract with one five-year extension for a total duration of ten years. The IDIQ cap will be $12 billion and the current program carries some sixteen contractors, who have shared over $2.3 billion to date with twenty-three months left until the contract’s expiration. The T4NG solicitation is expected to be released in November 2014 with an award scheduled for November 2015. An Industry Day is fast approaching in October 2014, suggesting that potential bidders should be lining up teams and building proposal development capabilities.
We believe that given the recent events in the Veterans Administration, the change in leadership, and the nation’s dedication to its war veterans that the spend rate on T4NG will likely exceed the spend rate of the current program. A number of needs have been singled out in the media surrounding the recent revelations, including a Digital Waiting List, a new Claims Processing System for private healthcare claims, Electronic Medical Records improvements, Electronic Notifications, and Telemedicine improvements among a host of future requirements. These changes are embodied in the new VA legislation.
While the new Secretary, McDonald, says that the VA will require, “…unprecedented critical cultural change and accountability,” the CIO, Stephan Warren, has adopted a new approach to systems development, utilizing “agile development methodology” to ensure that systems development cycles are shortened significantly. Agile development allows proof of operational performance without extended time passing until a system’s flaws are uncovered and corrected. We participated in successfully proposing the current T4 program. With an industry turnaround specialist at the helm; we anticipate that T4NG will be a more rewarding contract for companies to hold beginning in 2016.