The Obama administration was told by technology officials in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs that they were working on an overhaul of the department’s system for scheduling patient appointments shortly after the president was first elected in 2008.

The Washington Times reported Sunday that the officials had briefed the Obama transition team on the need to reduce “excessive wait times through the development of a new system. The paper reported that the briefing papers noted that “application development” on the new system had been taking place since 2002.

In testimony before a House panel this past Wednesday, Government Accountability Office Managing Director for Information Technology Joel Willemssen said that work on the VA’s schedule replacement policy had actually begun in 2000 and had cost $127 million since 2005.

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