VA Abruptly Cancels Key Software Contract for Joint Health Record

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | February 29, 2012

Yesterday, the Veterans Affairs Department abruptly terminated a $102.6 million contract awarded to ASM Research in January to develop software vital to an integrated electronic health record system that will serve both VA and the Defense Department.

A VA spokeswoman confirmed the contract cancellation, but provided no details. Industry sources told Nextgov that VA was concerned about potential organizational conflicts of interest and violations of federal contracting law, due to the fact that one or more ASM subcontractors had inside, nonpublic information about the procurement when it was put out for bid. ASM has not responded to a request for comment from Nextgov.

VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker said in an interview with Federal Times in early February that the contract with ASM called for the company to develop a middle layer of software for the integrated electronic health record (iEHR) called an enterprise service bus, which he described as "the heart of the iEHR." Baker said the ASM software would ensure any application could communicate with any database in the iEHR...