Herbsleb, J. D., Muller-Birn, C., & Towne, W. B. (2010). The VistA
Ecosystem: Current Status and Future Directions (No.
CMU‐ISR‐10‐124). Pittsburgh,PA: Carnegie Mellon University.
U.S. Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs Oversight
-- VA's IT Program: Looking Ahead, Oct. 6, 2010
-- (begins around 24:00)
Industry Advisory Council Working Group report
You will prepare and deliver testimony to the Senate Committee.
Each student will take one of the following 4 positions on VA and open
1. OSS is best for
national health care. VA should change its policies to
support a vibrant VistA open source community because this would be the
best thing for improving national health care.
2. OSS is best for VA.
VA should change its policies to support a vibrant VistA open source
community because this would be the best policy to promote high qualtiy
information technology for VA.
3. Commercial software is
best for VA. VA should change its policies to move toward
acquiring all of its information technology from commercial IT firms,
and should spend no resources to promote or deter an open source VistA
4. In-house software
development is best for VA. VA should change its policies
to enhance its internal software devleopment capability, buidling the
software it needs, and should spend no resources to promote or deter an
open source VistA community.
1. Due in 11/10. Each student will prepare first drafts of two
short esssays (1-2 pages total).
Essay 1 will be an analysis of the interests affected by your
position. Which specific classes of people, groups, and firms
will be gain or lose from your position? This should allow you to
identify you key constituents and key adversaries. What elements
of your potential policy will each affected group care about
most? While we will discuss these in class, and your fellow
classmates will see them, it will be up to you how much of this you
reveal "publicly." In other words, your public positions can
offer different motivations rather than just advancing the interests of
Essay 2 will be your official policy recommendations to the Senate
Committee, with reasons. These will be the arguments you reveal
and may be called on to defend in the hearing.
Both of these essays will be placed in an electronic forum.
2. Due 11/12 5PM. Each student will comment on the public
positions of each other student, using the online system we set up.
3. Due 11/16 2PM. Final essays (3 page max, total) due, posted in
4. Class 11/17. Hearing will be held. Each student will
have 15 minutes to present a position, followed by questions from the