VA Chief Outlines Computer System To Cut Disability Backlog
Des Moines Register: New System Aims To Reduce VA Disability Backlog
The Department of Veterans Affairs is installing a computer system that should help reduce a huge backlog of disability claims from wounded soldiers, but it's impossible to say when the problem will be cleared up, the agency's chief said Thursday in Des Moines. Eric Shinseki said during a news conference that the new computer system will go into use next year and will help clear the hundreds of thousands of cases bogged down in a paper-bound system. "How quickly does that tide turn? We'll see. This has been decades in the making," he said of the snarl. "I'm telling you we start in 2012 and you're just going to have to help us watch this." He said the VA is working carefully to ensure the new system works correctly. "You don't just automate bad processes and expect the best outcomes. If you're not careful, you automate a bad process and you just get bad outcomes faster" (Leys, 9/2).