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VA Moves Forward with Enterprise Mobile Expansion with No Acquisition Policy

Photo: Yutaka Tsutano

The Veterans Affairs Department is moving forward with its plan to enable numerous mobile devices to connect to its network beginning Oct. 1.

This is despite not having implemented a corresponding procurement policy, VA Chief Information Officer Rob Baker said at a press conference Wednesday.

“We have not put in place any particular acquisition strategy for (mobile devices),” said Baker. “One of the decisions I’ve got to make is whether they’re bought with the IT appropriation of the business appropriation. It’s an interesting case.”

Federal agencies have long favored the Blackberry and its secure messaging system.

As VA prepares to allow its employees to use other devices for the first time, it must decide whether acquisitions will correspond with individuals’ positions within the agency or with the individual technologies themselves.

As it stands, “there will not be an explosion of new devices” before a decision is reached, he said, noting that picking the appropriate budget line is “a decision that we’re going to have to make fairly soon.”

The Fall 2011 issue of GovConExec Magazine, published by ExecutiveGov’s owner Executive Mosaic, covers the significance of the VA’s mobile policy as part of its coverage of the expanding federal mobile market.

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