2018 SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
2018 SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNERS
Millions of Americans interact with government services every day, and expect to do so through digital channels. Too often they are faced with outdated tools and systems that lead to a cumbersome and frustrating experience. DSVA is made up of top engineers, designers, product managers, bureaucracy busters, and procurement experts from all corners of the tech industry and government who join for term-limited tours of duty—leaving their jobs, and often their homes, they come to D.C. and work to solve that problem. We are always designing products with our users, not for them, and we exist outside of standard hierarchies, enabling us to go where the workis and quickly research and develop solutions to VA’s most urgent Veteran facing problems—and they have had quite the impact.
The mission is ambitious, but critical: use industry best practices to make it easier for Veterans to get the benefits they deserve. Provide digital tools that empower them to discover, apply for, track, and manage their benefits online. The U.S. Digital Service team at the Department of Veterans Affairs (DSVA) is honored to serve those who have sacrificed so much to protect our country, and work to advance this mission every day.
This opened the door for VA to use commercial cloud infrastructure.
DSVA worked with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to overturn a 2013 ruling stating that OIG needed physical access to all VA systems and data. It then helped replace the ruling with a new policy that only requires OIG to have logical access. This opened the door for VA to use commercial cloud infrastructure, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. In turn, this allows VA to have a modern development environment with continuous integration and daily deployments inside the largest civilian bureaucracy the government has to offer. The Optimized VA Enterprise Cloud network architecture will potentially save VA $100 million over 10 years—the streamlined architecture costs a fraction (4 %) of its original design. It also costs 16% of traditional VA hosting costs. We’re also working to help migrate VA on-premise applications to the cloud that would result in significant savings. We’re currently partnering with Digital Vet Platform, Mobile Applications, VBMS, CCRA, and more.
Vets.gov averages around 99.99% uptime, and has experienced instances where we have been at 99.999%.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS